Oscars To Launch A New 'Popular Film' Category

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed that as of next year, the length of the Academy Awards TV broadcast will be shorter, and a new "popular film" category will be introduced. That same year, the Academy also reinstated a "preferential ballot" for Best Picture voting that allows members to rank films according to preference in that category, rather than simply picking one victor.

We will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film. But first: the Academy is serious about a three-hour telecast ("We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide"), and the date of the 92nd Oscars has been moved up, from February 23, 2020 to Feb. 9 (next year's Oscars will remain on Feb 24, 2019).

Almost a decade after expanding its Best Picture category to include up to 10 nominees in an effort to feature a wider variety of films, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is making another big change that could mean more spotlight time for genre films and blockbusters. 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 91st Annual Academy Awards, honoring the film achievements of 2018, will take place February 24, 2019.

In an effort to keep future ceremonies to three hours, the awards will be presented live and during commercial breaks. Winning moments will be edited and later aired during the broadcast.

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The Academy also mentioned that the 2020 Oscars will be airing weeks earlier than usual on February 8.

We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you.

"Here's the ten highest-grossing films, when accounting for inflation aka America's most "popular" films," Palotta wrote. They argue the change "will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process".

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