The Academy revealed the category on Wednesday, opening the door for films like Black Panther, Mission Impossible: Fallout and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again to be recognised at the next ceremony in February.
"The film business passed away today," tweeted West Wing star Rob Lowe, not one to ever mince his words.
"It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration."
The film business passed away today with the announcement of the “popular” film Oscar. It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) August 8, 2018
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas) has announced two key developments in a letter to its members on Wednesday: it plans to introduce a new category, “outstanding achievement in popular film”, alongside its traditional best picture award, and cut the length of its awards-show telecast to three hours. The third change mooted is to bring the ceremony date forward, in an attempt to combat “awards fatigue”.
Industry analysts suggest the changes are largely at the behest of the Oscars’ broadcasters, the Disney-owned ABC TV network, after the show’s ratings plunged to a record low this year.