Fifteen films will proceed to the next stage of voting in early January, when the visual effects branch executive committee will whittle the list down to 10 titles.
The 15 films in alphabetical order are:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys & Aliens
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (pictured)
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
The Tree Of Life
X-Men: First Class
All members of the visual effects branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the 10 shortlisted films on Jan 19 prior to voting on the five nominees.
The nominees for the 84th Academy Awards will be announced on Jan 24.