Oscars to introduce popular film category and shortened ceremony

Eloise Marshall
August 8, 2018

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.

- Damian Pietrzak (@Damiansport1)We need to see all categories and awards, please do not give anything in commercial breaks.

Reaction to the announcement was mixed, with many calling the "popular film" award a cheapening of the Oscars, while others lamented over the lack of recognition for stunt performers, voice actors, and motion-capture performers.

The Academy's board of governors has approved several changes for next year's Oscars, and among them is the introduction of a new category. Here's what they had to say in a message sent out to members recently.

The most important change to come is that the Academy will introduce a new award category meant to honor "outstanding achievement in popular film". Specific details about eligibility have not been revealed, but one has to wonder if films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception, or The Martian may no longer be Best Picture candidates.

There are sure to be mixed feelings when it comes to something like this.

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My feeling is this: If Mission: Impossible - Fallout or Black Panther is one of the best films of the year, it's one of the best films of the year.

Other planned changes include the televised Oscars show being cut down to three hours (an hour shorter than usual).

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. Now the Oscars will take a page from the Tony Awards playbook by announcing some of the categories during commercial breaks. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process. Still, this is sure to make many Academy members unhappy, since it could run the risk of undermining some of the minor categories.

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. Obviously, this is the largest adjustment announced, and also the funniest.

The Academy also mentioned that the 2020 Oscars will be airing weeks earlier than usual on February 8.

The 2019 Oscars will look a little different. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

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