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The Academy announces a new Oscar category

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that some changes are heading to the organization’s annual Oscars telecast. Among those changes is the addition of a new awards category celebrating “achievement in popular film”. This marks the first new Oscar category since 2002 when “Best Animated Film” was introduced.

It remains to be seen exactly how a popular film category will work, but the plan already has its proponents and detractors. While some are delighted that such an award will spotlight films that don’t normally receive Oscars, others argue that a popular film award has the potential to split votes and prevent a popular film from winning Best Picture outright. Although “Shrek” took home the first ever Oscar for an animated film, it was not nominated that year for Best Picture. Many have taken to social media to express their concern that the same could be true for 2018 releases, most notably Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther”.

“Black Panther,” released in February, is Marvel Studios‘ biggest domestic success to date, topping even fellow Marvel box office juggernaut, “Avengers: Infinity War”. While the later film has earned a colossal $678 million domestically (and over $2 billion worldwide), Coogler’s film has surpassed $700 million domestically ($1.3 billion worldwide).

Other planned alterations to the Oscars include an earlier airdate, beginning in 2020. The next telecast will occur on February 24, 2019. In 2020, though, the ceremony moves nearly three weeks earlier with an officially announced date of February 9, 2020. What’s more, the Academy is looking to embrace international audiences with a “globally accessible, three-hour” telecast. That’s nearly an hour shorter than the most recent ceremony.

What do you think about the changes coming to the Oscars? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @TheMoviebill.

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