A popular film category is coming to the Oscars

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The last time a category was added was in 2001 when the Oscars added Best Animated Feature.

It's been almost 17 years since the film Academy added a new category, best animated film. Luckily, every now and then, they make moves that show that they're kind of listening (though after having the lowest-rated Academy Awards showing past year, they kind of have to, right?).

Runtime is a frequent criticism of the glitzy awards show, vexing hosts and producers as they try year after year to keep the ceremony to a palatable length and often using the orchestra to play winners off the stage.

The 2019 ceremony will air February 24, while the 2020 ceremony will move to February 9. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the ceremony also clocked it at almost four hours, making it the longest show in over a decade.

Variety journalists Meredith Woerner, Stuart Oldham, and Kristopher Tapley were among the first to comment on the news, calling the addition "lazy", "staggeringly ham-fisted", and "a HUGE step back for genre film".

"We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours", Bailey and Hudson added. The most-watched telecast in Oscars history was in 1998 when "Titanic" won.

Last night, the Board of Governors met to elect new board officers, and discuss and approve significant changes to the Oscars telecast.

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The changes are unlikely to sit well with sections of the film industry who will be concerned that the awards will inevitably be split between the main awards and a second tier of categories which, ultimately, will be seen to matter less.

"Oscars designating a new award for "popular movies" just reiterates to its entire voting body and the world the inane conception that genre movies aren't as good as dramatic! independent! films!" wrote Polygon's Julia Alexander.

The Oscars do not, for example, recognise the work of stuntmen and stuntwomen, or choreographers, voice artists and a multitude of other professional and artistic disciplines in the film industry. He also said the Academy promises a brisk three-hour Oscars ceremony next year, and a much earlier air date in 2020.

Critics questioned whether a film like Black Panther would be relegated to the "popular" category only because it was a commercial success. When The Academy Awards began, they were held in May.

Filmmaker Mike Flanagan said the Oscars were essentially creating an attendance award.

Could this be "Black Panther's" big chance?

Another change includes the addition of Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.

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