The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a February 9th 2020 air date for the 92nd Academy Awards which will follow on from the February 24th 2019 airing of the 91st Academy Awards.
The latter’s nominations will be announced January 22nd. The date effectively shortens the awards season talk – meaning there’s just a little over two weeks between noms and awards as opposed to a full month. They have also announced that they are planning a more globally accessible three-hour telecast, down from the usual near four-hour run of the show, with some minor awards likely to be cut from broadcast.
However, it was the reveal by AMPAS of a new category that has everyone talking today. The Oscars are set to get a new award – Best Achievement in Popular Film. The announcement has met with immediate blowback from trades and social media, saying it violates the spirit of what the Oscars is about.
With the Oscars having effectively become marginalized as blockbusters have become less and less likely to win awards, this is being seen as a move (likely forced by ABC) to try and regain some of the mainstream audience who has become less and less interested in the Oscar race each year.
The problem is it also minimises the achievements of those few blockbusters that do score a Best Picture nomination or win – and effectively puts an end to any chance of a superhero movie scoring a Best Picture nomination or win. It’s also facing criticism for the nature of the award – after all, said films are already getting the biggest prize of all with box-office. On top of which any film that wins that award will be seen as getting a consolation prize as opposed to a true honor.
This is one topic that’s going to be debated for some time to come.