New changes announced for upcoming Oscars ceremonies

13 Août, 2018, 02:27 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • The Oscars’ new ‘popular film’ award proves it’s out-of-touch and elitist

In light of the fact that this year's Academy Awards ran nearly four hours and was the least-watched Oscars to date, the Academy has announced they are shortening the broadcast to three hours.

The U.S. television audience for the nearly four-hour Oscar ceremony in March 2018 was 26.5 million viewers, the smallest in awards' 90-year history. It's not unrealistic to say that people watching at home might care more for the Best Actor award, as opposed to something like Best Film Editing. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will now honor the most "popular film" of the year.

The Academy is still working out details like what qualifies as "popular". Also, a new category is announced that will recognize achievement in popular film. The film, directed by Ryan Coogler, had been tipped for nominations in the more traditional Oscars categories, such as Best Picture, but many fans now fear that it will be sidelined. The biggest Academy Awards audience on record came in 1998 when the blockbuster "Titanic" was named best picture.

In 2009, it expanded the number of best picture nominees from five to 10 in a bid to open up the competition.

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It's easy to see why the struggling Academy Awards would be interested in carving out space for popular fare like superhero movies.

In recent years, the Academy Awards have continuously suffered from low ratings.

Some commentators are suggesting that the blockbuster success of Black Panther may have inspired the new category, the first addition to the gongs line-up since Best Animated Feature was introduced in 2002. "Here comes the Academy, establishing a corner to which voters can banish (Black Panther) and other films like it with a pat on the head and a "'thanks for playing'". It implies that popular films, no matter how masterful they can be, are not worth honoring, which is just disgusting, if I'm to speak plainly.

The next Oscars ceremony will take place in Hollywood on February 24, as previously announced.

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