The Academy Awards recently announced that they would be opening a new category for their upcoming awards show: “Achievement in Popular Film.” This was most likely done in response to the outcry that the Oscars were failing to evolve with the times and recognize genre fare in the same categories as many of the prestige films that typically sweep through the awards season. Movies like last year’s Get Out, which was nominated for Best Picture but had no real chance of winning, or this year’s Black Panther, could find a place in the new category without trying to go up against the movies the Academy typically gets behind.
It was a decent idea, but there were a lot of problems with it. It seemed to be somewhat of a backhanded compliment (“Oh, it’s good for a popular movie, but can’t compete with a real movie”) and there was no real criteria laid out for what would qualify a movie for each category. It should come as no surprise that, due to the negative reception, the Oscars has postponed the new category and will not be featuring it in their upcoming show.
The Hollywood Reporter first broke the story, saying that the Academy announced that they needed more time to come up with criteria for the category. However, it would not come as a huge surprise if it just quietly went away and was never spoken of again.
It seems likely that a movie like Black Panther will still get several technical nods, and maybe even a supporting actor nomination thrown in there to appease fans of the film. It seems highly unlikely that we will see it topple the traditional Oscar winners like Spotlight, The King’s Speech, and the like.
The Oscars are scheduled to air on February 24, 2019. Check out last year’s winners right here, and be prepared to shout for your favorite genre films and “popular” films to steal the crown and the show.