Oscars add 'Popular Film' category

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced Wednesday morning that the prestigious award show is going to be making some changes, including a new category that will be centered around "achievement in popular film". In addition to announcing the new category, the Oscars said the telecast will be "more globally accessible" and that the 2020 ceremony will take place earlier in the year on February 9.

The Academy's board has voted to add a new category to honor "popular film", marking the first time in almost two decades that a category has been added to the award slate.

"Eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming", Mr Bailey and Ms Hudson said in the letter. In the letter, they explain that this will be achieved partly by "present [ing] select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)".

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It's among three changes approved on Tuesday by the Academy's board of governors.

We'll address points 1 and 3 in a bit, but it's point 2 - the new category for popular film - that's getting people talking today.

The film academy is also shifting the date for the 92nd Academy Awards to earlier in the year. And what criteria will be used to determine whether a film qualifies as "popular?" The most-watched telecast in Oscars history was in 1998 when "Titanic" won.

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Last year, the Academy Award for Best Picture was won by the The Shape of Water, which had taken about $170 million worldwide around the time of its win - twice the previous year's victor, Moonlight. The 2019 ceremony will still air February 24.

Starting next year, the ceremony will now be shown in what the Academy describes as "a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast".

Last year, "Wonder Woman's" complete shutout aroused an uproar from many who consider the first female-headlined superhero film award-worthy, and as Woerner pointed out, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" was nominated for eight Academy Awards, but not best picture. Even with this change it still can do that of course, but adding a new category just widens the net.

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Academy board members may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive years in any one office.

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