This is a big move up for the Oscars 2020 airdate, as the 91st Academy Awards are scheduled to air on February 24, 2019, with nominations to be announced on January 22. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the ceremony also clocked it at almost four hours, making it the longest show in over a decade.
Future broadcasts will be three hours long and will include a new category that is designed around achievement in popular film.
"We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide", the letter reads.
Does that mean even less Academy recognition for similar films now that they may have a separate category?
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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". The new category will be called the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film and was announced by Academy President John Bailey and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in a letter (via THR). Winning moments will be edited and later aired during the broadcast.
"We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you". Is Best Popular Film a good idea or not?
"Here's the ten highest-grossing films, when accounting for inflation aka America's most "popular" films", Palotta wrote. In some respects, this feels like a cynical attempt by the Academy to create an Also-Ran category that will appease moviegoers who, for example, saw Black Panther but couldn't find (or weren't interested in) a theater that was screening a festival darling like The Miseducation of Cameron Post, as well as appease genre fans who just want to see a Marvel movie take an award outside of the technical categories. "Popular films are films!"
Our guess is that box office has everything to do with it, and that this category is effectively a way for the film industry at large to honor giants like Star Wars and the MCU for pumping billions of dollars into movies. Sure. Will it mean as much if it's in a special category that some fans view as a consolation prize that lessens the impact of the blockbusters while also potentially dulling the shine on the Best Picture category?