Oscars to shorten run-time, add popular film category

Oscars to shorten run-time, add popular film category

It's all change at the Oscars - the Academy has unveiled plans for a new category, a shorter telecast and an earlier airdate set to roll out in the coming years.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy's board of governors has approved the changes in the wake of falling viewing figures for the annual movie awards.

The devil is in the details.

The new Popular Film category is bound to be controversial, even before concrete details about it have been confirmed.

The most attention-grabbing announcement is the arrival of a new award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film. For comparison, last year's ceremony aired in early March and the upcoming 2019 show is set for February 24.

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Also, the 92nd Oscar ceremony in 2020 will air on the much earlier date of Sunday, February 9, presumably to battle complaints that the show's usual late-February or early-March date feels a little late. The body stated that the smaller awards will be presented during the telecast's commercial breaks, with the winning moments aired later in the broadcast.

Whether these changes mean the show will be better remains to be seen, but we're suddenly very excited for next year's awards season.

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 date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.

In a statement, it said: "We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world". 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.

After the news broke, film aficionados immediately dove in to the discussion to give their guesses as to what this new "popular film" category will be.

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