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

Adjust Comment Print

The Academy's board of governors has approved several changes for next year's Oscars, and among them is the introduction of a new category.

The devil is in the details. As THR points out, the most successful movies at the box office each year are rarely represented in the main categories and usually have to make do with technical awards.

They have also announced that a new category is being designed around achievement in popular film, and that they are planning a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast.

The date of the 92nd Oscars telecast will move to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The 2019 show will still run on Sunday, Feb. 24.

As for the other announcements today, the Academy also confirmed that the telecast would be cut down to three hours (phew), though this will result in some categories (presumably the shorts and crafts awards) being doled out during commercials and edited into a montage to be aired later in the show. Winning moments will be edited and later aired during the broadcast.

This complaint has already spawned some changes to the Academy's annual ceremony, most notably a decision in 2009 to expand Best Picture nominees from five to 10 in part because one of 2008's most acclaimed films, The Dark Knight, was left out of the Best Picture category that year.

Other cinephiles were turned off by the idea of a "popular film" category, worrying it could turn the Oscars into a ceremony that panders to popular public opinion, much like the MTV Movie Awards or the People's Choice Awards. Details on eligibility have yet to be announced. They argue the change "will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process".

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world", Hudson and Bailey wrote.

Furthermore, "popular" and "Oscar-worthy" are not mutually exclusive - even based on Academy precedent, with profitable titles like Avatar, Titanic, and the entire original Lord of the Rings trilogy taking home multiple Academy Awards. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.

Comments