ARTS/CULTURE: Popular film or participation trophy?

by Billy Parvatam, Justin Keane–

Photo by Dave_B_ on / CC BY


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in an effort to spice up the Oscars, initially decided to add a new award for “outstanding achievement in popular film”. This move hopes to counter criticism that the awards don’t include blockbuster films that most people see.

One example is “Black Panther,” which took home $202 million in just its first three days. In contrast, last year’s best picture winner, “The Shape of Water,” only accumulated $60 million at the time of its win.

However, the academy has only garnered more backlash from fans and celebrities alike. Many argue that this accolade would create a “second-class” of films not good enough to win best picture, and that money is already a reward for success at the box office. In response to the criticism, the academy announced that the category would not be presented at the upcoming ceremony and instead needed further analysis.

So this debate has raised questions as to how the Oscars should approach incorporating mainstream films. Does this award diminish the Oscars? Are movies that likely would not have got recognition do so now? Or would this category just be rewarding movies based on how much money they make?