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The Academy Awards held its 90th ceremony earlier this year, and as we move closer to a full century since its inception, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is implementing some big changes for future broadcasts. It was announced earlier today that along with the 2020 ceremony airing on February 9 (weeks earlier than when the Academy Awards usually air) and the broadcast being trimmed down to three hours, a new category is on the way that "is being designed around achievement in popular film." That last piece of news in particular drew polarizing reactions, with many folks taking to social media to voice their displeasure about this Popular Movie category. Starting off, Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood summarized his feelings rather simply.
While the wording is vague, the general consensus has been that this Popular Movie category is the Oscars' way of recognizing major blockbusters and other movies that do well at the box office as a substitute for them getting recognition in the existing categories. Some have seen this as a way to decrease the chances for major productions to get a Best Picture nod or something similar, while others see this as pandering to movies that are accumulating piles of audience money. As CNN reporter Frank Pallotta noted, some of cinema's most well-known Oscar-winning films are already considered "popular' by their box office haul.
There's also been concern that this Popular Movie category could have a negative impact on genre film getting attention at the Oscars, as Variety editor Meredith Woerner addressed.
Of course, one way to make fun of a piece of news is to satirize the original announcement, and Indiewire's David Ehrlich did just that py "predicting" what other categories will be announced for the Academy Awards in the next six years.
Finally, Mashable's Angie Han asked why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn't simply create a Best Stunts Category instead, thus shining light on an element of moviemaking that isn't recognized nearly as often as it should be.
It's worth noting that after sending out its initial announcement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sent out an addendum clarifying that while the details are still bring worked out, a movie that's nominated in the Popular Movie category will also be eligible for the Best Picture category. This Popular Movie category will also debut at the 91st Oscars ceremony, so presumably as we draw closer to the big event, it will become clearer just what the Academy has in mind for this new section.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the biggest updates concerning the Academy Awards, but in the meantime, check out our 2018 release schedule to plan your trips to the movie theater later this year accordingly.