The Academy Adds Best Popular Film Oscar Category

08 August, 2018, 22:31 | Author: Ethel Goodwin

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's board of governors approved several changes to the annual Oscars show last night during their meeting Tuesday night in which they re-elected John Bailey to a second term as president.

In a statement, it said: "We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously", the message stated.

- For starters, they want to commit to a three-hour telecast, arguing, "To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)". Now the Oscars will take a page from the Tony Awards playbook by announcing some of the categories during commercial breaks.

The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk 3-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of February 9, 2020.

The airdate has been bumped up just for the 2020 telecast ― from February 23 to February 9 for 2020.

What's more, the ceremony's 2020 show will air even earlier in the year on February 9.




When it comes to the Academy Awards, there's always been a divide of sorts when it comes to the movies that end up being nominated and popular, blockbuster films. The dirty (not so) secret of the Academy Awards is that they've never really been a benchmark of excellence to begin with. Specific details about eligibility have not been revealed, but one has to wonder if films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception, or The Martian may no longer be Best Picture candidates. The Oscars are meant to award artistic excellence in film, even if they seem too-often content to award excellence in Oscar campaigning - so why a separate category that can't help but be seen as an also-ran, a consolation prize?

Popular film? What is this?

The addition of Outstanding Popular Film is the first new category since 2001 when Best Animated Feature made its debut as part of the show.

Essentially, with these changes, the Oscars are looking to become more like the MTV Movie Awards, and that's a damn shame.

This experiment failed, and it felt as though the only way to "fix" it was to just go back to five Best Picture nominations. "Popular films are films!"

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