Image The new category for popular film has proved controversial
08 August, 2018, 20:41
The date of the 92nd Oscars telecast will move to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The annual awards show usually runs over three hours, with the longest show clocking in at four hours and 20 minutes minutes in 2002.
The Academy's board of governors has also set an earlier date for the 2020 Oscars ceremony and will shorten the telecast to three hours in an attempt to make the ceremony "more accessible for our viewers worldwide".
Now the Popular Film category arrives to give even more weight during each ceremony to the biggest films of the year, at a time when movies like Black Panther in 2018 and Wonder Woman in 2017 are getting increasingly big pushes from their studios in an effort to earn some Academy gold. For comparison, last year's ceremony aired in early March and the upcoming 2019 show is set for February 24. The People's Choice Awards already exist, and most "popular" films already get one award: money.
To accommodate a three-hour ceremony, the Academy will present select categories live in the Dolby Theatre and during commercial breaks. Bailey and Hudson said eligibility requirements will be determined at a later date. Winning moments will be edited and later aired during the broadcast. What we do know, though, is that the Academy has just taken a major step in the direction of focusing more on blockbusters, which are often viewed as a kind of art form unto themselves.
Others blasted the academy with insults, calling the new changes "inane" and those who made them "cowards", while "Lord of the Rings" veteran Elijah Wood simply tweeted, "Best Popular Film? oof". Many wrote that they hoped the category will be about stunt work.
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.