Culture&Arts

Oscars to Introduce 'Popular Film' Category, Shorter Award Ceremony

Oscars to Introduce 'Popular Film' Category, Shorter Award Ceremony

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 Oscars are introducing a new awards category for outstanding achievement in popular film. "Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming", they wrote.

Such wins prove the Oscars have always favoured the popular film, Twitter thinks.

The Hollywood Reporter printed a message from the Academy to its members, outlining the new changes approved by the Board of Governors. "The Oscars creating a whole new category so they don't have to acknowledge Black Panther in the best picture category is the most racist and elitist thing I have heard today", read yet another tweet.

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Yet in recent years, the Oscars have tended to honor art house fare and performers, like best picture winners "Moonlight" and "The Shape of Water", for its biggest prizes rather than box office hits like the "Star Wars" franchise or superhero movies.

Additionally, the 2020 Academy Awards will have an earlier date, moving from February 23 to February 9. And what criteria will be used to determine whether a film qualifies as "popular?" Some will be presented during commercial breaks at the Dolby Theatre, with the key moments being edited into the broadcast later. That same year, the Academy also reinstated a "preferential ballot" for Best Picture voting that allows members to rank films according to preference in that category, rather than simply picking one victor.

The Oscars are getting shorter and attempting to appeal to the broader movie-going public by adding a new category, as organisers face sliding ratings. The Academy has shifted dates over the years, usually from March in the 1940s and 1980s and April in the 1960s and 1970s before settling in February in the mid-2000s. In order to accomplish this, not all of the categories will be presented live.

Last year's best picture victor, "The Shape of Water", earned $63 million domestically and topped out at No. 10 in box office rankings during its time in theaters, according to figures from Box Office Mojo. "We have the MTV Movie Awards for that kind of junk", he said. "Craftspeople make up a huge part of the academy membership".