Oscars add popular film category, sets earlier air date

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

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

Finally, the date of 2020's Oscars has moved forward.

The Oscars are adding a new category for popular films and shortening the award ceremony to three hours. The group did not provide details on what movies would be eligible and when the award will first be handed out, but its intent is clear. So the upcoming Oscars will still be held on Sunday, February 24th, 2019 as planned - but the year after that, the broadcast will fall earlier in traditional awards season.

Best Achievement In Popular Film. "[We] took this charge seriously".

The Hollywood Reporter printed a message from the Academy to its members, outlining the new changes approved by the Board of Governors.

Last year's telecast hit an all-time low in ratings with just 26.5 million viewers, a drop of 20% from the previous year. But recent years have seen some of the year's top-grossing films either earn awards exclusively in technical categories or get shut out of the Oscars completely. This can make that final broadcast seem more like a coronation than a surprise-filled evening.

The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will air February 24, 2019.

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The Academy has also announced future televised ceremonies will be limited to 3 hours, again with an eye to making the telecast more palpable to larger audiences.

They will instead be given out live in the auditorium during commercial breaks; "the winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast", the letter said.

Reaction to the announcement was mixed, with many calling the "popular film" award a cheapening of the Oscars, while others lamented over the lack of recognition for stunt performers, voice actors, and motion-capture performers. The academy tried to address the problem of popular movies like "The Dark Knight" and "WALL-E" (both 2008) being snubbed when they extended Best Picture from 5 to 10 nominees. It also means that the film with the most first place votes doesn't always win Best Picture. For instance, this might have done more to hurt "Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015) and "Get Out" (2017) than help them.

We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide.

Could this be "Black Panther's" big chance?

Of course controversy is nothing new for the non-profit. I believe we must improvise, adapt and overcome everything that comes our way and there is no doubt that the world has changed around the Oscars.

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