The Oscars are adding a new category to honour popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony on a much earlier air date of February 9, 2020.
It's all change at the Academy - for the 91st Oscars ceremony, the Powers That Be have chose to add a new "Popular Film" category to honor "outstanding achievements" in blockbuster and genre movies, which are so often maligned by Academy voters year in, year out.
The statement added that "eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming", though it's quite reasonable to expect that the award will require a minimum box office gross to ensure only truly populist movies make the cut.
The telecast has also limited its run time to three hours or less, revealing that select categories will be presented during commercial breaks. "In creating this award, the Board of Governors supports broad-based consideration of excellence in all films".
The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films.
It's unclear what exactly spurred this decision to consider a category for "popular film" and what exactly that would entail (likely big box-office movies that aren't necessarily considered Oscar-worthy). And what criteria will be used to determine whether a film qualifies as "popular?"
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Some changes are about to happen in the Oscars. Edited versions of the awards given out during the breaks will air later in the broadcast. Those categories haven't been determined, but there has been push-back in the past in awards-season shows (not just the Oscars) from below-the-line crafts wary of having their categories nudged off the main broadcast.
Among the changes is to present fewer categories live.
The Academy has recently made much-lauded moves to diversify and expand its membership, which would theoretically lead to a corresponding diversification and expansion of the kind of films that get nominated for, and awarded, Oscars.
Other changes set to take place, according to the Academy: a stricter adherence to a three-hour telecast and an earlier airdate for the 92nd annual Oscars.
The changes are the biggest since the Academy in 2016 pledged to double its female and minority membership by 2020 in response to the #OscarsSoWhite criticism of its nominees.