Oscars to introduce popular film category and shortened ceremony

HOLLYWOOD CA- MARCH 04 Review of the Oscar statue at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center

This is not the first time the AMPAS has altered their rules in an attempt to get more commercially popular films to the table at the Academy Awards. As THR points out, the most successful movies at the box office each year are rarely represented in the main categories and usually have to make do with technical awards.

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.

The requirements aren't known just yet, though we assume it will be to integrate films that are more popular with the buying public rather than exclusively the critics.

The change is one of three new tweaks that the Academy have made to their annual award show - including moving the date forward a few weeks (which will no doubt have a knock-on affect on the BAFTA ceremony) and shortening the TV broadcast to three hours to make the event more accessible for viewers around the world.

It also announced that presentation would be aired at a much earlier date than expected, in February 2020.

The category will nearly certainly see acclaimed box office hits such as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Mission Impossible: Fallout nominated, and if AMPAS truly wants to open things up to the public, an online vote for the final victor wouldn't be remotely surprising.

However, the three-hour telecast means select categories will not air live. Keep diversifying the Academy to dilute the number of members operating under archaic notions of what an Oscar movie might look like. Eligibility requirements for the popular film category will be forthcoming.

The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will air February 24, 2019.

In an effort to keep future ceremonies to three hours, the awards will be presented live and during commercial breaks. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously. The dirty (not so) secret of the Academy Awards is that they've never really been a benchmark of excellence to begin with.

Popular film? What is this? And that's saying a lot since you awarded Best Picture to Crash.

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