And the Academy Award for the quickest category lifespan goes to Popular Film! Almost one month after the Academy announced some new changes to the prestigious ceremony they’re walking back on one. The Best Popular film, or in Oscar speak “outstanding achievement in popular film” was meant to provide films that are often overlooked the chance to be recognized. Instead, it was met with an outcry of disapproval from many who felt it was a way for the Oscars to avoid having to nominate critically acclaimed blockbusters and other genre films such as Black Panther and Wonder Woman for Best Picture.
While a “Popular Film” category SEEMS like a way to appreciate blockbusters, by relegating them to their own category, the Oscars have invalidated them more than ever. This is just a participation award which prevents well-deserved genre films from actually getting Best Pic noms.
— Houston Coley (@Blockbustedpod) August 8, 2018
Well, the Academy was certainly listening and they’ve now announced that they are putting the category on hold and it will not be included in the 2019 ceremony, which recognizes films from the 2018 season.
Their plan is to dive deeper into both the criticism and praise they received for the new award and discuss further with Academy members.
One of the most talked about films when it came to the introduction of the new category was Marvel’s Black Panther, which had been receiving Oscar buzz long before the Popular Film’s introduction. Not only was it heralded by critics and audiences alike, but its story and stunning cinematography led it to become one of the best Box Office smashes of all time. Needless to say, it deserves to be nominated for Best Picture, which is why the convenient timing of the Best Popular Film award ruffled some feathers.
Are you excited to see the Best Popular Film category get scrapped? What movies are you hoping will be nominated for Best Picture? Let us know!
The 91st Academy Awards will air on ABC on February 24, 2019.
You can read the full statement from the Academy below:
While remaining committed to celebrating a wide spectrum of movies, the Academy announced today that it will not present the new Oscars® category at the upcoming 91st awards. The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released. The Board of Governors continues to be actively engaged in discussions and will examine and seek additional input regarding this category.
“There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We have made changes to the Oscars over the years—including this year—and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”
Changes to the 91st Oscars (2019) include restructuring and shortening the length of the telecast to three hours. To honor all 24 award categories, six to eight categories will be presented live, in the Dolby Theatre®, during commercial breaks. The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast. Selected categories will be rotated each year. The Academy will collaborate with the show producer(s) to select these categories.
The Board of Governors also voted to move up the date of the 92nd Oscars telecast to Sunday, February 9, 2020, from the previously announced February 23. The date change in the timeline will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process.
The key dates for the 2019 awards season are as follows:
Saturday, November 16, 2019 Governors Awards
Thursday, January 2, 2020 Nominations voting opens
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 Nominations voting closes
Monday, January 13, 2020 Oscar Nominations Announcement
Monday, January 27, 2020 Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Thursday, January 30, 2020 Finals voting opens
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 Finals voting closes
Sunday, February 9, 2020 92nd Oscars
Starting in 2020, the Scientific and Technical Awards will move to June, as the technologies honored do not represent achievements within a specific awards year.