Oscars set to change

Oscar statuettes appear backstage at the Oscars in Los Angeles. When the Academy of Motion

But the Wednesday morning announcement was also met with immediate backlash online, raising questions about what the new category would mean for a film like "Black Panther", a global blockbuster which has also been talked about as a favorite contender for the best picture Oscar.

Last year's show hit an all-time ratings low. "To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)".

Edited excerpts of those presentations will then be shown during the broadcast.

The 54-member board of governors announced the creation of a category for "outstanding achievement in popular film".

The Academy could have waited to see the impact on the best picture race from its push to diversify its membership, Willmore said.

The board also announced it would bring forward the date of the 2020 Oscars ceremony to February 9 - about three weeks earlier than usual. Organizers did not say which of the 24 awards, which honour everything from acting to sound editing and short films, would be shifted.

Oscar statue is places inside the ballroom at the 89th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills C
Oscar statue is places inside the ballroom at the 89th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills C

At the meeting on 7 August, the Council of the Academy made a decision to change the format of the event to attract a new audience.

The 2018 Oscars had the fewest viewers of any Academy Awards ceremony in history.

Bailey and Hudson said eligibility requirements will be determined at a later date, but it is worth noting that other top film categories like the best animated feature and best foreign language film don't prohibit a best picture nomination.

Bailey added, "It's not about recruiting new people in the established industry". After all, those CGI-heavy blockbusters accounted for half of the top ten highest-grossing films past year and they have massive fanbases who might just tune in to the Oscars if their favorite movie were in the running.

Moonlight, for instance, the Best Picture of 2017's Oscar ceremony, only grossed $27 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo's numbers. "That's how to win viewers back to the Oscars without trashing the essence of what movies are".

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