Details and eligibility requirements of the new category, which will honour "outstanding achievement in popular film", will be forthcoming. The Academy took to Twitter to share the exciting news on August 8, which has sparked some controversy on social media.
It is the latest attempt by the Academy to remain, in the words of its leadership, "relevant in a changing world", and to maintain its position as the premier awards ceremony for excellence in film. So the upcoming Oscars will still be held on Sunday, February 24th, 2019 as planned - but the year after that, the broadcast will fall earlier in traditional awards season. New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis tweeted about the news on Wednesday, saying "what a fucking stupid, insulting and pathetically desperate change".
All jokes aside, here's another thing that rubs this writer the wrong way about the new "Popular Film" category: it's inherently condescending toward whatever ends up winning that year. Fans of the awards show took to Twitter in response to the announcement, pointing out that the difference between the new category and best picture is unclear and adding that it's unfair to not have recognition for stunt work and choreography, or voice acting performances. "The board of governors took this charge seriously", the Academy said in a letter to members, which was made available to media.
The 91st Oscars telecast remains as announced on Sunday, February 24, 2019.
The new category was announced in a letter to Academy members that also reveals the 2020 date of the Oscars ceremony will be moved to earlier in February than the event usually runs. And while plenty of award shows have seen ratings decline, Variety reports that none suffered almost this badly.
The Academy is making some changes to the Oscars. Though I described it as "Best Effects Driven Motion Picture" - instead they will offer up "Best Popular Film".
The Academy did not offer specifics about how the category will be defined. Even comedy films were once nominated! 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.