A popular film category is coming to the Oscars

A popular film category is coming to the Oscars

They will also create a new award for "outstanding achievement in popular film" - a response to accusations that for the past decade or more, the Academy has honored arthouse fare only seen by limited audiences. The biggest Academy Awards audience on record came in 1998, when the blockbuster "Titanic" was named best picture.

The lack of nominations for blockbusters led to a change previously as well. "Toy Story 3" was nominated for both best picture and best animated feature.

It's always been a odd quirk - or possibly a point of pride for the Academy - that some of the prestige films the Oscars reward with best picture nominations are unpopular, at least according to their box office performance. Until the expansion of the Best Picture nomination numbers, animation nearly never received Best Picture nods. Tell us which movie you think should win next year's popular film award. We'll have to see how the criteria for Best Popular Film pans out before making too much judgment here, but that could be an issue.

The move might also be an attempt to boost viewership of the Oscars telecast. This is something that producers, critics and many viewers have been wanting for years, as the award shows have made going long a yearly tradition (one that is often joked about by the hosts). The plan is not to remove the awards from the show, but to present some of the categories during commercial breaks.

LOS ANGELES Big changes are coming to the Academy Awards, including the addition of a popular film award category and the promise of a shorter ceremony in an effort to combat declining viewership and criticisms that the awards are out of touch with the mainstream.

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Earlier this year, the 90th Oscars on March 4 lasted almost four hours, and posted all-time low television ratings with 26.5 million viewers.

The Board of Governors, staff, Academy members, and various working groups spent the last several months discussing improvements to the show.

Supposedly, the idea of bringing in such a category is to give credence to the kinds of movies which bring in the most money, and ultimately, more viewers. Specific categories will be determined at a later date, but the film academy said the off-air winning moments will be edited and aired in a later broadcast.

The final reform will be to hold the ceremony earlier in the calendar year - in 2020, it will shift to February 9. The date change will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process. It wasn't specified whether it would be added for the 91st Academy Awards this February.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a series of new changes to the Oscars on Wednesday, including "a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast", moving the date of the awards show up to February 9 for 2020 and, perhaps most notably, "a new category. designed around achievement in popular film".

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