Oscars’ New ‘Popular Film’ Category Is Proving To Be Extremely Unpopular
By Yoon Sann Wong, 09 Aug 2018
Image via Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
The Academy Awards is feeling the heat following its announcement on Wednesday over changes to the Oscars, mainly in a bid to boost its ailing ratings.
Change is coming to the #Oscars. Here's what you need to know:— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 8, 2018
- A new category is being designed around achievement in popular film.
- We've set an earlier airdate for 2020: mark your calendars for February 9.
- We're planning a more globally accessible, three-hour telecast. pic.twitter.com/oKTwjV1Qv9
Amidst the three major tweaks was the inclusion of its brand new ‘Best Popular Film’ Oscar category that isn’t sitting well with many in the movie industry.
Actor Rob Lowe tweeted, “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.”
Director Adam McKay similarly shared his disdain over the news by suggesting other new categories the Academy could consider including, such as “Best movie where shit blowed up good,” “hottest female alien” and “best ‘you thought he was dead but now he’s back and REALLY kicking ass’,” amongst others.
The Academy issued a statement to clarify that films are eligible for both ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Popular Film’, and does not have to be one or the other.
Others in the industry have refrained from comment given the precise criteria for ‘Best Popular Film’ has yet to be established.
The Oscars’ shortened three-hour telecast has also drawn flak. According to i-D, the move means less prominent award presentations will occur during commercial breaks. Audiences will see a montage of these, rather than the unedited run. For some in the film industry, this demoralizing news strips acknowledgement from those who had worked hard to bring these movies to life.
Chris Schleicher, television writer behind Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Mindy Project responded on Twitter, “…4 hours a year was too much for the Oscars? Let me say it again for those in the back: The Oscars should take as long as the world cup.”
See more responses below.
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.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) August 8, 2018
Other new categories:— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) August 8, 2018
-Best movie where shit blowed up good.
-Hottest female alien
- Best back flip to avoid a thrown knife
-Best knife throw
-Best “you thought he was dead but now he’s back and REALLY kicking ass” https://t.co/LI61qULdC9
Best Popular Film? oof— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) August 8, 2018
"I would have voted for Black Panther for Best Popular Film twice if I could have." pic.twitter.com/sYc6l9rXXV— Ross Miller (@rosstmiller) August 8, 2018
Personally, this feels like a HUGE step back for genre film. Dark Knight, LOTR, District 9, Get Out, & Shape of Water broke the mindsets that scifi and fantasy could be considered BEST PICTURE. Does this new POPULAR category give snobbier members an out? https://t.co/CeMf7B1Cul— Meredith Woerner (@MdellW) August 8, 2018
Giving out an Oscar for Best Popular Film is like giving out a Nobel Prize for Hottest Abs— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) August 8, 2018
last year's Best Picture nominees to gross over $100 million were GET OUT and DUNKIRK; imagine if both had been shoved into "Best Popular Film" instead and ignored by voters for the big category— David Sims (@davidlsims) August 8, 2018
2018: The Academy announces a new award for "Popular Film”!— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) August 8, 2018
2020: The Academy announces a new award for “Best Cinematic Universe!"
2022: The Academy announces a new award for “TV Shows that Feel Like 10-Hour Movies!"
2024: The Academy announces that “gifs are the new cinema!”
Hearing from so many millenials today who cannot wait to watch the Oscars now.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 8, 2018
Oh, Christ. AMPAS just announced that it will be presenting some awards off the air, and creating a new category to honor "popular films." These are bad, pandering, desperation-based decisions and I hope they reconsider. >— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) August 8, 2018
YOU SAY: The Oscars are adding an award for achievement in popular movies— Kevin O'Keeffe (@kevinpokeeffe) August 8, 2018
I HEAR: Christine Baranski and Jessica Keenan Wynn are winning a joint Oscar for their work as "Tanya" in the popular film MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN pic.twitter.com/BGYrgADtyO
Black Panther should absolutely make the Best Picture noms but the idea of inventing a "popular film" category for it to lose to Infinity War even though it's the better film... makes me itch.— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) August 8, 2018
“The Black Panther Memorial Award for Movie That We’re Afraid Won’t Get a Best Picture Nomination”— David Sims (@davidlsims) August 8, 2018
It truly is something that in the year Black Panther, a movie made just about entirely by and with black people, grosses $700 million, the Academy's reaction is, "We need to invent something separate...but equal."— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) August 8, 2018
Here's the ten highest-grossing films, when accounting for inflation aka America's most "popular" films. Every single one was either nominated for or won Best Picture with the exception of "Snow White," which was given an honorary Oscar. Popular films are films! pic.twitter.com/8wIB0NGyLh— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) August 8, 2018
[via Variety and i-D, main image via Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com]
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