Just weeks after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the ironically unpopular idea of bringing a "best popular film" category to the Oscars, the concept is being abandoned — at least for now.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy said Thursday that the new award, which was intended to recognize "outstanding achievement in popular film" in a category separate from Best Picture, will no longer be introduced at the 2019 Oscars as originally planned. Based on the "wide range of reactions" the announcement received in August, "further discussion with our members" is needed before the award can be implemented, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said. The Academy will continue to workshop the idea, however, leaving open the possibility of a second try in 2020.
News of the new Oscar category prompted almost universally negative reactions last month, with critics arguing that it would inevitably be seen as a consolation prize as another film got the "real" award of Best Picture. There was also confusion over what actually constitutes a "popular" film, considering movies like Get Out, La La Land, and The Martian have been nominated for Best Picture in recent years while also being box office hits. The Academy never fully clarified its intentions with the award before announcing this delay.