Oscars Creating 'Popular Film' Category In Academy Awards Reform

The most attention-grabbing announcement is the arrival of a new award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.

Almost a decade after expanding its Best Picture category to include up to 10 nominees in an effort to feature a wider variety of films, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is making another big change that could mean more spotlight time for genre films and blockbusters. It's likely to be a contraversial desicion though, as rewarding "popularity" (which presumably means ticket sales) hasn't traditionally been the role of the Oscars.

The Academy also announced a commitment to a firm three-hour telecast, as well as a move in ceremony date for the 92nd Oscars in 2020.

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The airdate has been bumped up just for the 2020 telecast ― from February 23 to February 9 for 2020.

Superhero films such as Black Panther are among those which could now stand a much better chance of being recognised during awards season. In addition, they are planning a more "globally accessible" three-hour telecast. While the details of this new category have not been disclosed yet, it's safe to assume that nominees will be films that managed to please not only critics, but audiences as well.

In a letter sent to members, the Academy also announced that the telecast will now be kept to under three hours which means that some of the 24 categories will be announced during commercial breaks and then edited into the ceremony later on. The 2019 Oscars will proceed as planned on February 24. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

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In a statement, it said: "We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world". The Board of Governors took this charge seriously. And that's saying a lot since you awarded Best Picture to Crash.

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. "Popular films are films!"

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