Oscars introduce a new category for popular movies

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When The Academy Awards began, they were held in May.

Another new, major change will be trying to keep the Oscars broadcast to a tight three hours.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's board of governors approved several changes to the annual Oscars show last night during their meeting Tuesday night in which they re-elected John Bailey to a second term as president. The 2019 ceremony will still air February 24.

What's more, the ceremony's 2020 show will air even earlier in the year on February 9.

The telecast, which is broadly seen as overly long, will be capped at three hours.

Variety journalists Meredith Woerner, Stuart Oldham, and Kristopher Tapley were among the first to comment on the news, calling the addition "lazy", "staggeringly ham-fisted", and "a HUGE step back for genre film".

Rich was more upset by the decision to shorten the telecast by distributing some awards during the commercial breaks, echoing Atlantic staff writer David Sims, who tweeted that "refusing to broadcast technical awards is much, much worse and more depressing".

What do you think of these changes coming to the Oscars?

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world", Bailey and Hudson said in a letter to members, a copy of which was sent to AFP. No further details were shared, but that category will probably air live, and be a nod to massive comic book movies like "Black Panther" - which just hit another domestic milestone. We'll have to see how the criteria for Best Popular Film pans out before making too much judgment here, but that could be an issue.

Wednesday's letter did not give details of the new category recognizing popular film, saying those would come later. Specifically, ratings have been dropping severely and much of that has been blamed on the fact that numerous movies being honored in the top categories aren't necessarily all that popular with the moviegoing public. They argue the change "will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process". Best stunts (I'm being real on that one)?

Online the reaction was swift and overwhelmingly negative. Others expressed concern that Black Panther, which won wide critical acclaim, could be relegated to the popular film category because it was also a massive commercial success.