The Oscars are adding a new category to honor popular films and promising a brisk three-hour ceremony and a much earlier air date in 2020. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the ceremony also clocked it at almost four hours, making it the longest show in over a decade.
The Oscars are making some changes to their format, and that includes opening the door for more widely popular movies to get recognized, including superhero films.
The Academy's board also voted to move the 2020 Oscars, the 92nd edition, from February 23 to February 9.
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The statement added that "eligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming", though it's quite reasonable to expect that the award will require a minimum box office gross to ensure only truly populist movies make the cut.
"To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)", a letter to Academy members reads. Winning moments will be edited and later aired during the broadcast.
Again, it's important to note that we know very little right now about exactly how this category will work, who will be eligible (popular films can be low-budget indies that caught fire at the box office, too), and how the award will be framed in the overall telecast.
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The 91st Oscars telecast remains as announced on Sunday, February 24, 2019.
Now the Popular Film category arrives to give even more weight during each ceremony to the biggest films of the year, at a time when movies like Black Panther in 2018 and Wonder Woman in 2017 are getting increasingly big pushes from their studios in an effort to earn some Academy gold. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.
After the news broke, film aficionados immediately dove in to the discussion to give their guesses as to what this new "popular film" category will be.
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"We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you". Many wrote that they hoped the category will be about stunt work. And that's saying a lot since you awarded Best Picture to Crash. "Popular films are films!"