Oscars: Academy to add achievement in popular film category

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

The next year, the Academy expanded its Best Picture category to 10 nominees to try and recognize more "populist" films like The Dark Knight. The statement reads: "To honour all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)". Winners in less prominent categories will likely receive their awards during commercial breaks, with highlights from those presentations edited and aired later in the broadcast, according to the report.

The Oscars have always been a bit of a popularity contest, but a new award for "outstanding achievement in popular film" is set to shake things up a bit. They also announced that the 2020 Oscars will be held much earlier, on February 9, 2020, which means a shorter voting window. The 2019 ceremony will still air February 24.

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. It also clocked it at almost 4 hours, making it the longest show in over a decade. The Academy Awards broadcast has been facing some troubles as of late.

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In a message to its members the Academy said eligibility requirements for the new category and other key details would be "forthcoming".

Although Oscars does award commercially successful films, it tends to exclude genre movies such or superhero films like Star Wars or, more recently, Black Panther. What we do know, though, is that the Academy has just taken a major step in the direction of focusing more on blockbusters, which are often viewed as a kind of art form unto themselves. 91st Oscars telecast is now scheduled for Sunday, February 24, 2019. And what criteria will be used to determine whether a film qualifies as "popular?"

The new Popular Film category is bound to be controversial, even before concrete details about it have been confirmed. Would they have been too popular for the official Best Picture category? So, while they're being straight up about "this is the movie that y'all voted for the most with your dollar this year", the Academy's also telling you that whatever movie you liked best probably wasn't going to win without them being "generous" enough to invent a new slot. "Popular films are films!"

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