Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

The Oscars are adding a 'Popular Film' category

The Oscars Will Be Adding A New Category To Honor ‘Popular’ Movies Oscars 2020 Airdate Announced and Changes Teased by AMPAS
Guillermo Jimenez | 09 August, 2018, 13:29

I am always one for change rather than stagnation.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy's board of governors has approved the changes in the wake of falling viewing figures for the annual movie awards.

The U.S. television audience for the nearly four-hour Oscar ceremony in March 2018 was just 26.5 million viewers, the smallest in the history of the 90 year-old Academy Awards. Bailey and Hudson added that shortened telecasts aim to deliver "a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide".

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The changes are unlikely to sit well with sections of the film industry who will be concerned that the awards will inevitably be split between the main awards and a second tier of categories which, ultimately, will be seen to matter less. It's easy to imagine that if academy members think a film will be taken care of in the Best Popular Film category, they won't need to vote for its writing, directing or acting, or consider it for Best Picture.

"The accidental implication is here's the award for popular film, and here's the unpopular films", said Alison Willmore, critic and culture writer for Buzzfeed News. It is not clear at this time if the Popular Film category will be added in time for 2019, but if so, we're expecting Star Wars, Marvel, and DC films will be in contention. "Every single one was either nominated or won Best Picture with the exception of 'Snow White, ' which was given an honorary Oscar". Nine years ago, the Academy expanded the best picture roster from five nominees to 10. The MTV Movie Awards?

The Academy made the announcement in a tweet on Wednesday.

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But times have changed.

"Biases the Academy has had for years are falling apart", she continued. It's a way for the Academy to include movies they probably wouldn't recognize in the first place (see: genre pictures).

The Academy also said it would present a "select" number of categories during the ad breaks of the broadcast, with those moments edited and shown later.

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The new addition is seemingly in response to historically low ratings for the awards show telecast, which has already been bumped up from its originally scheduled February 24, 2019 and February 23, 2020 dates to February 9, marking the earliest broadcast to date. "Craftspeople make up a huge part of the academy membership".

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