A popular film category is coming to the Oscars

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The move quite clearly seems to be an effort to reinvigorate interest in the Oscars with the show's TV ratings declining severely in recent years, the hope being that seeing more blockbuster titles in the awards show might prompt more casual audiences to tune in. The most-watched telecast in Oscars history was in 1998 when the hugely popular Titanic won Best Picture.

Plus, the Oscars will have a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film. That has changed to February 9.

Read the full letter from The Academy below.

Now, to point 1: By promising to bring the broadcast in under three hours, the Academy is seeking to address the chief, perennial criticism lobbed at it by critics, the public, and late-night comedians - namely, that the Oscars telecast is a bloated, overlong exercise in Hollywood navel-gazing.

The Academy which runs the Oscars ceremony has added a new category to honour popular films and has promised a brisk three-hour ceremony and a much earlier air date in 2020. Specific categories will be determined at a later date, but the winning moments will be edited and aired in a later broadcast.

Obviously we can guess the "Most Popular" category was created for films that otherwise wouldn't get nominated or win, such as comic book movies like Black Panther or movies starring Dwayne Johnson.

Additionally, the 2020 Academy Awards will have an earlier date, moving from February 23 to February 9. They argue the change "will not affect awards eligibility dates or the voting process". The date for the 2019 show, February 24, remains unchanged. The Board of Governors took this charge seriously.

And the inclusion of what amounts to a "most popular" category is also likely to be a source of friction for both film connoisseurs and some sections of the film industry who are not represented at the Oscars.

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Could this new category focus on the epic draw of films like offerings from the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Star Wars movies?

- The Kenny (@TheKennyMiles) August 8, 2018nomination for stunts please!

In order to fit all the awards into the new 3-hour timeslot, certain awards will be presented during commercial breaks.

- Beau Hawkins (@BeauHawkinsNYC)Some people wait all year for this.

- Damian Pietrzak (@Damiansport1)We need to see all categories and awards, please do not give anything in commercial breaks.

- Alice (@alicekatemurray)SERIOUSLY? This is SO disrespectful to the winners!

The Academy announced a number of changes Wednesday to the annual Oscars as part of a number of adjustments to the broadcast, which had its lowest-rated telecast on record a year ago.

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