Earlier today, the suits behind the Academy Awards announced new changes to the awards show intended to bring back the luster of the Oscars and viewers to its telecast. Newly re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Bailey and the Academy’s CEO, Dawn Hudson, sent an email to member earlier today that stated the inclusion of a brand new “popular film” category which would award money-making tent pole movies like Mission: Impossible – Fallout which has grossed over $125 million domestically reports the AP News.
The other two changes would be to limit the telecast of the awards show to just three hours. Last year, the 90th Academy Awards special ran almost four hours long and fell to an incredibly low rating of just 26.5 million viewers, 19 percent lower than the previous year. To achieve this, Bailey and Hudson stated that some awards would be given out live while others would be announced during commercial breaks. Which categories those would be were not stated.
While some are praising the adding of the popular film category, others are not happy including actor Rob Lowe who stated, “The film business passed away today with the announcement of the ‘popular’ film Oscar. It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration.” Mark Harris, author of Five Came Back, tweeted that the popular film award “Is a ghetto and will be perceived that way.” Others are wondering if a film that is deemed popular could still be eligible to win the best picture category.
On the other hand, the move is to no doubt cater to movie fans who support blockbusters but are not exactly into indie film. Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about the move, but I like the direction. I would just be happy if we could get the speech-makers to limit their comments to world of movie-making and not politics. How about you?