For years, the Oscars have been the pinnacle of cinematic celebrations in the industry. We’ve always enjoyed watching the highs and lows, the dramas and the tears, and all the surprising twists that the storied award ceremony has to offer. (Not the least of which because it gives us a chance to celebrate some of the best movies of all time.)
It’s the night that marks the careers of the best actors and best directors around, and although it doesn’t always get it right — cough, constant horror movie snubs, cough — we still find ourselves tuning in to watch the brightest and best in Hollywood.
But change is in the air when it comes to the Oscars, particularly when it comes to the Best Picture award. In fact, to be eligible for the award at all, Best Picture hopefuls will now need to check one major box.
It all has to do with theatrical runs. Now, any pictures that are in the running for a nomination must abide by a few rules — namely, they must run for an extended theatrical release. Essentially, this means that the movie in question will need to run for longer than the one-week qualifying run in the US, they will now need to run for another seven days.
The additional seven day run can be non-consecutive, but it has to be no later than 45 days after the initial release. It also has to be in ten of the 50 US markets.
However, if the film has a late run (after January 10, 2025), then distributors will have to provide the Academy with their release plans to qualify for that year’s awards. These still have to contain an extended theatrical run plan.
What’s the reason for all this? Well, it’s a move on the Academy’s part to show support for theatrical distribution, as a counter to the streaming surge. All-in-all, not a bad move, since this means that even streaming services such as Netflix will need a significant theatrical run to qualify.
Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang said as much in their official statement: “As we do every year, we have been reviewing and assessing our theatrical eligibility requirements for the Oscars. In support of our mission to celebrate and honor the arts and sciences of moviemaking, it is our hope that this expanded theatrical footprint will increase the visibility of films worldwide and encourage audiences to experience our artform in a theatrical setting.”
Well, if it gives us the chance to watch future Oscar nominees on the big screen, then we can certainly get on board with the update! To see what we thought of last year’s nominees, check out our reviews for Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Whale, and The Fablemans.