The Academy introduces new Oscar category and statue: Outstanding Popular Film

HOLLYWOOD CA- MARCH 04 Review of the Oscar statue at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center

John Bailey, the newly re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, says in an email to members Wednesday morning that the Board of Governors met Tuesday night to approve the three major changes.

The decision was immediately laughable - the Oscars are not exactly a bastion of artistic achievement to begin with - but it's also insulting to any blockbusters that get slapped with the label. Really, what's being awarded is the best media campaign by a studio, and how they manuvered their movie in front of Academy members, who probably haven't even watched 85% of the entries in the first place. The first: They are all meant to increase the telecast's ratings, appealing to viewers who don't want to spend over four hours watching people they haven't heard of winning awards for movies they didn't know existed, and likewise to moviegoers who only see the biggest films of the years. The following year, the Artistic category was dropped and the Outstanding Picture victor, "Wings", was retroactively considered to be the night's biggest victor.

Eligibility requirements for the new category have not been publicized, either, but several critics have accused the academy of pandering and lessening the stature of the best picture category. Will those changes be made effective immediately, or will it take the academy another year or so to work out the details? Since their Best Picture no longer represents what the ticket buyers like they HAVE to do this. Oh, and the Oscars consistently perform better than the Grammys, Emmys, and Tonys.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced some of the biggest changes to the Oscars in its almost century-long history.

And so we have the "popular" film consolation prize.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy's board of governors has approved the changes in the wake of falling viewing figures for the annual movie awards. It is not clear at this time if the Popular Film category will be added in time for 2019, but if so, we're expecting Star Wars, Marvel, and DC films will be in contention.

A fan of Wonder Woman might rightly be frustrated that the movie did not have a chance to compete while something like The Post, a movie everyone's already forgotten about, did.

Tapley said the addition of a popular film category was "the worst of these ham-fisted maneuvers because it's such a condescending stance toward popular cinema".

Should Black Panther be the Academy Award victor for "Best Picture", it should earn its statuette against something like The Favourite.

And while the Logies plays a straight line between the two in brand terms, there is an inevitable perception that one group is seen as better, or more professionally legitimate, than the other.

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