Culture

The Academy announces new changes to the Oscars, including popular film category

The Academy announces new changes to the Oscars, including popular film category”

We will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film.

The changes follow an uneasy period for the Oscars, after the four-hour long 91st Academy Awards attracted only 26.5m viewers, a drop of 19% since the previous year and the first time in a decade ratings had dropped below 30m.

The Oscars are making some changes to their format, and that includes opening the door for more widely popular movies to get recognized, including superhero films. This creates ratings woes for the Academy, to be sure, but it's also generated an outcry from genre fans and critics, who argue that legitimately great artistic achievements in blockbuster and genre-heavy films are often overlooked, with a few exceptions like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and this year's big victor, The Shape of Water.

It's among three changes approved on Tuesday by the Academy's board of governors. Bailey and Hudson said eligibility requirements will be determined at a later date. The 92nd Oscars have also been brought forward from 23 February to 9 February 2020, though the eligibility dates for Oscar releases and the voting period will remain the same.

The 91st Annual Academy Awards, honoring the film achievements of 2018, will take place February 24, 2019.

In an effort to keep future ceremonies to three hours, the awards will be presented live and during commercial breaks. Winning moments will be edited and later aired during the broadcast.

- A new category is being designed around achievement in popular film.

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world", a statement sent to Academy members on August 7 reads. What we do know, though, is that the Academy has just taken a major step in the direction of focusing more on blockbusters, which are often viewed as a kind of art form unto themselves.

It means films which are popular with the public but not with critics could be much more likely to be recognised. And that's saying a lot since you awarded Best Picture to Crash.

After the news broke, film aficionados immediately dove in to the discussion to give their guesses as to what this new "popular film" category will be. "Popular films are films!"



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