A decision to bring forward the ceremony to the start of February, rather than the end, from 2020 has also created problems within the industry as the organisers of other awards shows have to be moved to accommodate the new Oscars date.
Wednesday's letter did not give details of the new category recognizing popular film, saying those would come later.
In the world of cinema, there is no honor bigger than getting an Oscar. Adam Zanzie, a filmmaker and video essayist in Los Angeles, told Big Think. The Academy already has the Best Picture category. Why make room for anything of lesser quality? It's not unrealistic to say that people watching at home might care more for the Best Actor award, as opposed to something like Best Film Editing.
The board reelected Bailey in a meeting held late on Tuesday; these changes were also regulated then.
"The rumor I've been hearing everywhere is that the Academy is just doing this to boost ratings", Zanzie said. "Apparently, that wasn't enough for them".
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Reporters from Variety, including Meredith Woerner, Stuart Oldham, and Kristopher Tapley, were among the first to comment on the new category, calling it "lazy", "staggeringly ham-fisted", and "a HUGE step back for genre film".
It's a film that would likely have a hard time scoring Best Picture, if history is any guide. Meanwhile, historical dramas like "12 Years a Slave", "Argo" and "The King's Speech" have had little trouble scoring the Academy's premiere award in recent years. Including past winners that are blockbuster films like Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The addition of the popular film category, a clear effort to attract a larger audience to the ABC broadcast by honoring bigger and more seen films, led many to wonder whether a film like "Black Panther" would be ineligible for best picture and relegated to the popular film award because of its size and success, or lead to inadvertent segmenting by film academy voters.
'The Dark Knight' via Warner Bros.
A number of people online openly complained about the announcement, with many feeling it's a preemptive means to appease fans of blockbuster films like Black Panther while still not giving it full recognition.
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