"We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide", the letter reads.
The next year, the Academy expanded its Best Picture category to 10 nominees to try and recognize more "populist" films like The Dark Knight. Winning moments will be edited and later aired during the broadcast.
The Oscars has also announced that its planning an earlier date for 2020 - advising film fans to mark their calendars for February 9. So the upcoming Oscars will still be held on Sunday, February 24th, 2019 as planned - but the year after that, the broadcast will fall earlier in traditional awards season.
Ratings for the 91st Academy Awards fell to an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers, down 19 percent from the previous year and the first time the glitzy awards ceremony had fewer than 30 million viewers since 2008. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the ceremony also clocked it at almost four hours, making it the longest show in over a decade. However, if such massive changes are in order, it's possible that the Academy is in a hurry to see if these modifications will have the intended effect of renewing interest in the prestigious awards show.
The addition of Outstanding Popular Film is the first new category since 2001 when Best Animated Feature made its debut as part of the show.
The Oscars are making some changes to their format, and that includes opening the door for more widely popular movies to get recognized, including superhero films. Specific details about eligibility have not been revealed, but one has to wonder if films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception, or The Martian may no longer be Best Picture candidates. 91st Oscars telecast is now scheduled for Sunday, February 24, 2019.
We are excited about these steps, and look forward to sharing more details with you. "Every single one was either nominated or won Best Picture with the exception of 'Snow White, ' which was given an honorary Oscar". So, while they're being straight up about "this is the movie that y'all voted for the most with your dollar this year", the Academy's also telling you that whatever movie you liked best probably wasn't going to win without them being "generous" enough to invent a new slot.
Popular film? What is this?
What they're proposing now is different - they'll keep handing out awards without a break, even during commercials. "Popular films are films!"