The Oscars Are About To Get More ‘popular’

Related: Five changes that would improve Oscar ratings
Films like “Titanic,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” and “Forrest Gump” ruled the box office in their respective years and also earned best picture awards. But recent years have seen some of the year’s top-grossing films either earn awards solely in technical categories or get shut out of the Oscars completely. (One of the few exceptions to this was “American Sniper,” which grossed $350 million domestically and earned a best picture nomination.)
Last year’s best picture winner, “The Shape of Water,” earned $63 million domestically and topped out at No. 10 in box office rankings during its time in theaters, according to figures from Box Office Mojo.
The Academy’s motivation for extending honors to so-called popular films is a hope that the new award will help attract viewers. The most-watched telecast in Oscars history was in 1998 when “Titanic” won.
Last year’s telecast hit an all-time low in ratings with just 26.5 million viewers, a drop of 20% from the previous year.
Other changes set to take place, according to the Academy: a stricter adherence to a three-hour telecast and an earlier airdate for the 92nd annual Oscars.
The Academy had said the date of the 2020 ceremony would be February 23. That has changed to February 9.

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