Academy adds 'popular film' category to Oscars

Brenda Watkins
August 8, 2018

From next year, there will be an award for outstanding achievement in popular film, the first time a new Oscar has been introduced since best animated film in 2001.

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

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

Many have taken to social media to criticize Academy members' Wednesday decision to add the new bracket, which some view as an excuse not to nominate critically acclaimed blockbusters like "Black Panther" for best picture. The 2019 show will still run on Sunday, Feb. 24. "Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming".

In an effort to keep future ceremonies to three hours, the awards will be presented live and during commercial breaks.

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-And starting in 2020, the telecast will move up to an earlier date, most likely to the chagrin of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, shifting from February 23rd to Sunday, February 9, 2020. "The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast".

The changes are among the most drastic made to the program in recent years. This creates ratings woes for the Academy, to be sure, but it's also generated an outcry from genre fans and critics, who argue that legitimately great artistic achievements in blockbuster and genre-heavy films are often overlooked, with a few exceptions like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and this year's big victor, The Shape of Water.

The film Academy has announced a number of changes to the Oscars, including the introduction of a new category.

After the news broke, film aficionados immediately dove in to the discussion to give their guesses as to what this new "popular film" category will be. They argue the change "will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process".

In 1929 at the first Oscars ceremony, the Academy awarded films in two separate categories - Outstanding Picture and Unique And Artistic Picture - both considered the top awards of the night.

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