Oscars bosses to honour blockbusters with new popular film category

The telecast now has a strict three-hour timeframe.

Oscars bosses have added a new award to honour box office hits.

At a board of governors meeting on Tuesday night (07Aug18), when John Bailey was elected to a second term as president, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members approved several changes to the prizegiving, including one that celebrates the year's biggest films.

The category for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film will be introduced at the 2019 Oscars, which is staged on 24 February.

Bailey and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson have also announced the board agreed to limit the Oscars telecast to three hours, revealing some awards will now be handed out during commercial breaks, edited and shown towards the end of the broadcast to keep international audiences engaged in the show.

"We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide," Bailey and Hudson wrote in a letter to members. "To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast."

They also announced the 2020 Oscars will be moved from its original date (23Feb) to 9 February.

"We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously. We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you," the letter concluded.

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