Oscars announce new popular film category

Aug 09, 2018, 01:57
Oscars announce new popular film category

They're scooching up the broadcast a couple weeks earlier in February - but not until the 2020 telecast. In a tweet Wednesday morning, the Academy announced it's planning a new category "around achievement in popular film". 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. The Oscars clarified that the new category will be included in the 2019 ceremony.

Tapley said the addition of a popular film category was "the worst of these ham-fisted maneuvers because it's such a condescending stance toward popular cinema".

The details regarding eligibility in this category have not been announced - and the Academy did not say when the change would take effect - but the new award's goal is clear: make sure the box office's biggest money makers have a chance to walk away with Oscars gold. "[We] took this charge seriously".

Now, to point 1: By promising to bring the broadcast in under three hours, the Academy is seeking to address the chief, perennial criticism lobbed at it by critics, the public, and late-night comedians - namely, that the Oscars telecast is a bloated, overlong exercise in Hollywood navel-gazing.

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The Academy's board has voted to add a new category to honor "popular film", marking the first time in almost two decades that a category has been added to the award slate. This year's almost four-hour telecast, hosted again by Jimmy Kimmel, dropped 19 percent from the previous year to just 26.5 million viewers, according to the Hollywood Reporter - an all-time low.

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. This can make that final broadcast seem more like a coronation than a surprise-filled evening.

The Oscars has also announced that its planning an earlier date for 2020 - advising film fans to mark their calendars for February 9.

To keep the ceremony to three hours, the academy vows to present only select categories live. Those categories will not be removed from the telecast; instead, "the winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast". It marked the first time the glitzy awards ceremony had fewer than 30 million viewers since 2008.

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Yet there is a good chance Black Panther will not win Best Picture. Popcorn films such as "Avatar", "Inception", "Mad Max: Fury Road", and "The Martian" all scored best picture nods.

"We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours", Bailey and Hudson added.

The moves are likely to be controversial, particularly the decision not to televise certain categories and the creation of the popular film category.

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