Academy to Add Oscar Category Specifically For Popular Films

Danny Woods
August 8, 2018

The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony and a much earlier air date in 2020. It is not known which will be cut, nor what he eligibility criteria for the new popular film award will be. It's likely to be a contraversial desicion though, as rewarding "popularity" (which presumably means ticket sales) hasn't traditionally been the role of the Oscars.

The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of February 9, 2020.

The category will nearly certainly see acclaimed box office hits such as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Mission Impossible: Fallout nominated, and if AMPAS truly wants to open things up to the public, an online vote for the final victor wouldn't be remotely surprising. Details on eligibility have yet to be announced.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy's board of governors came together on Tuesday to figure out how they can add some pep to their golden-glazed step for a culture that changes rapidly by the hour. Others will be presented during commercial breaks, with the winners' acceptances "edited and aired later in the broadcast". Next year's 91st Awards will take place in its traditional late February slot, but in the following year, it will be held on Sunday, February 9.

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The move quite clearly seems to be an effort to reinvigorate interest in the Oscars with the show's TV ratings declining severely in recent years, the hope being that seeing more blockbuster titles in the awards show might prompt more casual audiences to tune in. "Every single one was either nominated or won Best Picture with the exception of 'Snow White, ' which was given an honorary Oscar".

Furthermore, "popular" and "Oscar-worthy" are not mutually exclusive - even based on Academy precedent, with profitable titles like Avatar, Titanic, and the entire original Lord of the Rings trilogy taking home multiple Academy Awards.

Popular film? What is this?

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