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Oscars to add 'best popular film' award, shorten gala

13 August 2018

In the 90 years of the Academy Awards, only three animated films have received nominations for Best Picture: Beauty & the Beast, Up, and Toy Story 3.

Superhero movies like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, the top two grossing films of the year so far in the USA, could be in the Oscar race.

Wednesday's letter did not give details of the new category recognizing popular film, saying those would come later. 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. So the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced some changes, including a new category: most popular film.

"How can the Academy define what's "popular"?"

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Of course, a quick glance at social media as a whole shows that overall most non-film industry folk are appreciative of the new category, as it's a sign that the Oscars are at least aware of their image problem and looking to change it. "They initially tried to do something similar about a decade ago when they extended the amount of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10, because of the uproar when popular movies like "WALL-E" and "The Dark Knight" were being excluded from Best Picture nominations".

The Academy did not offer specifics about how the category will be defined.

Mr. Harris wrote on Twitter that while the academy might dismiss public reaction to the changes, the organization has broadened and diversified its membership in recent years and might find less support than they expect internally.

"Instead, it should be working to take off its blinders and make more room in the big tent for every movie that comes out".

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There are exceptions, of course, like when "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" won Best Picture in 2003, or win "Annie Hall" did the same in 1977.

"Personally, I think the idea of a Popular Film category is laughable", Zanzie said.

Race issues have overshadowed the Oscars for years.

Earlier this year, the 90th Oscars on March 4 lasted almost four hours, and posted all-time low television ratings with 26.5 million viewers.

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Oscars to add 'best popular film' award, shorten gala