Oscars Creates New Popular Film Category For Popcorn/Comic Book Movies


It’s all change at the Academy – for the 91st Oscars ceremony, the Powers That Be have decided to add a new ‘Popular Film’ category to honor “outstanding achievements” in blockbuster and genre movies, which are so often maligned by Academy voters year in, year out.

It’ll be introduced as part of a shorter telecast (three hours or less, it seems), while future shows will be brought forward to early February. All of this will be put into effect for the 91st Academy Awards next February, where Marvel fans will no doubt be campaigning for Black Panther to land the ultimate prize.

And that’s just it; while the Academy is trying to stay relevant in an ever-changing media landscape, this newfangled ‘Popular Film’ category is bound to be controversial. Further details and eligibility requirements are yet to be announced, but one can’t help but wonder if it’ll actually undermine big name popcorn movies like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as the line between ‘Popular Film’ and ‘Best Picture’ may prove contentious when the lights go down in the Dolby Theater next February.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that, starting with the 91st Oscars next year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have decided to present select categories during commercial breaks, which helps bring that bum-numbing runtime down below three hours. The date change affects the 92nd Oscars, too, given the ceremony has been brought forward to February 9th. The eligibility dates for Oscar releases and the voting period, meanwhile, will remain the same.

All told, it’s a pretty huge sea change for Hollywood’s most prestigious awards ceremony, and while it’s not exactly the MTV Movie Awards, the decision to cater for populist hits like Black Panther is exciting, if a little unnerving – especially if it rules them out of the Best Picture race.