Monday, September 10, 2018

The Academy's Reversal of Most Popular Film Category

The Academy has reversed their decision to include a Popular Film category. 

They introduced this category initially as the ratings for The Oscars has been declining, and one explanation is that the movies that are nominated are too esoteric.

That is to say, the huge blockbusters are totally sidelined by the Academy, and it's the smaller artsy releases that receive all of their attention.  Consider, for example, Moonlight; a movie with a budget of around $3 million, and was seen by a fraction of those who saw the summer blockbusters; that won Best Picture in 2017.  

The Oscars, then, is perhaps becoming more and more for a niche group of movie aficionados.

And ABC isn't happy about this, as they have contracts with advertisers guaranteeing huge numbers of views.

Additionally, there's been a growing outcry that quality movies are totally ignored by the Academy--movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Wonder Women people think the Academy is ignoring because they aren't cerebral or artsy enough.

And the masses have been outspokently pissed about this.

Ok, then, so the Academy responds; appeasing ABC and appeasing the angry masses; with an award category called “Most Popular”.  It's unclear what criteria would include Most Popular, and the category is met with widespread derision as the Consolation Academy Award.

Then the Academy balked and decided to not include the category in the 2019 awards, but possibly in later years.

Hm, this is a testament to the power of the masses to shape Academy policy. Although the problem is that the masses aren't speaking coherently.  They cannot be consoled.

What will the Academy need to do in order to stay relevant?  Is Movie Pass helping to breathe life into movies, taking away some of the financial barrier to going out a seeing movies, as much of the public's attention has shifted to Netflix (and possibly even just YouTube--sitting at home and watching shit).

It does need to find a way to acknowledge the Marvel movies, the Mission Impossible movies, Jurassic Park, Fast and Furious, etc. These enormous blockbusters that are very well crafted AND reach so many eyeballs.

Can they do it in a more classy way?  As the creation of the Popular Film has been widely received as a dismissive way of acknowledging them.

This remains to be seen.  

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