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Oscars add new film category essentially for superhero films

superhero films

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With streaming giants battling for top entertainment content, superhero movies breaking box office records every year, the big push for diversity and inclusivity and the rise of the MeToo and TimesUp movements, Hollywood is quickly changing.

And in this evolution, the prestigious Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, have finally started to make changes. After this year’s Oscars were one of the lowest rated award show in Academy Award history, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has decided to make some new changes in hopes of luring viewers to the awards again.

Going forward from next year onwards, the Oscars will now be shorter in length and instead of running for almost hours the award show has been shortened to a mere three hours. This will happen with the decision to not air center awards on TV and instead distribute them during commercial breaks, the footage of these awards will later be uploaded online.

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This is important because the public doesn’t really care about most of the awards presented, especially on crafts side but it does downplay the importance of the award for people who don’t get to see themselves on TV. The other, more controversial decision has been to add a new film category that will deal with popular films.

The new category “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film”, has been made as the public largely isn’t aware of the films that are awarded the most Oscars with the public instead being more invested in tentpole films from major studios and the Academy is hoping that establishing this will draw more viewers to the awards. Since the category’s announcement, there has been swift backlash on all sides.

Many believe that the Academy has “sold out” themselves by making a category for blockbusters that are hardly ever good films. Making a category exclusively for films that have done well goes against Oscar’s age old tradition of prioritizing quality of content over the success and numbers of the film and thus seems like a huge step backwards. This has especially been a bone of contention with cynics who claim that the creation of this category was done at the urging of Disney that has distribution rights to the annual Academy Awards and the most to gain from the creation of this category.

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Considering that Disney manages to earn critical and commercial success with its many Marvel and Star Wars films year round, the Oscar’s new category will most likely be filled with Disney properties. Others have claimed that this is the Academy being snobs, something they’ve often been accused off in the past, when popular films like The Dark Knight failed to make the Best Picture cut.

This year the Marvel film Black Panther was the rumored favorite to finally land a Best Picture nomination but with the introduction of this new category it very likely seems that Black Panther won’t be able to make it in the Best Picture category. Essentially this category could stand to prevent any truly deserving box office success from getting a shot at the Best Picture nomination, so it’s no surprise noone seems to be happy about it.


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