Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Rick Owen

The Oscars Will Be Adding A New Category To Honor ‘Popular’ Movies

The Oscars Will Be Adding A New Category To Honor ‘Popular’ Movies

Starting next year, the ceremony will now be shown in what the Academy describes as "a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast".

Last night cinematographer John Bailey was re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by the organization's Board of Governors.

It's among three changes approved on Tuesday by the Academy's board of governors.

To keep the ceremony to three hours, the academy vows to present only select categories live. "The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast".

The Oscars have always been a bit of a popularity contest, but a new award for "outstanding achievement in popular film" is set to shake things up a bit. The Academy has shifted the date of its 2020 broadcast, which will honor 2019 releases, from February 23 to February 9.

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

The 2018 awards show, which clocked in at nearly four hours, was the least-watched Oscars to date.

Oscar statues are seen backstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. If those films had been diverted into a category for "popular" movies it might have hurt them more than helped them, creating a perception among academy members that they're not truly among the best films, they're just the best of the films that reached the widest audience.

The statement added that "eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming", though it's quite reasonable to expect that the award will require a minimum box office gross to ensure only truly populist movies make the cut.

Does that mean even less Academy recognition for similar films now that they may have a separate category? Period. There's no need to put a "popular film" label on it. So, while they're being straight up about "this is the movie that y'all voted for the most with your dollar this year", the Academy's also telling you that whatever movie you liked best probably wasn't going to win without them being "generous" enough to invent a new slot. And that's saying a lot since you awarded Best Picture to Crash. Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film?

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