The Academy introduces new Oscar category and statue: Outstanding Popular Film

The Academy introduces new Oscar category and statue: Outstanding Popular Film

The Hollywood Reporter reports that, after the last few Oscars telecast dwindled in audience numbers - the 2018 broadcast reaching new lows with 26.5 million viewers - a large shakeup is coming, one that is meant to bring mainstream focus back on the prestigious awards show. In addition to announcing the new category, the Oscars said the telecast will be "more globally accessible" and that the 2020 ceremony will take place earlier in the year on February 9.

The telecast has also limited its run time to three hours or less, revealing that select categories will be presented during commercial breaks. Those categories will not be removed from the telecast; instead, "the winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast". Others wonder if this is merely a way to throw the MCU and the Star Wars universe awards without actually considering them for "main" categories, like Best Actor or Best Picture.

What's more, the ceremony's 2020 show will air even earlier in the year on February 9. Bailey and Hudson said eligibility requirements will be determined at a later date.

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

This is especially interesting as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never won an Oscar - embarrassingly, despite Suicide Squad grabbing a Best Makeup and Hairstyling gong a year ago - but that could very well change with this new award category. "[We] took this charge seriously".

Other planned changes include the televised Oscars show being cut down to three hours (an hour shorter than usual).


I know many will complain about the award wins not shown live. In essence, it shouldn't take me less time to watch Doctor Zhivago than it does to witness this parade of self-congratulatory nonsense where everybody's just tennis clapping while an eight ball burns a hole in their pocket, yearning for the after party and what drunken shenanigans it holds. Period. There's no need to put a "popular film" label on it.

I am always one for change rather than stagnation.

The Academy last added a new category in 2001 for Best Animated Feature. Adding "Best Achievement In Popular Film" is, in actuality, the Academy being fucking honest for once.

"Here's the ten highest-grossing films, when accounting for inflation aka America's most "popular" films," Palotta wrote.

And it turned out that many people hadn't even heard of the movies in question, let alone seen them.

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