The 91st Academy Awards will introduce the Best Popular Film award at the upcoming 91st Oscars.
At their recent Board of Governors meeting 54 governors voted to add Best Popular Film to their existing 24 categories. Black Panther is the 10th highest grossing film in the world, and along with breaking many records and generally shaking up everyone and everything, it’s also a strong contender for the top categories at the Oscars including the biggest – Best Picture.
The Oscars don’t usually recognise commercial /superhero /or comedy films. Black Panther was set to shake that up too. But some say the new category undermines the Oscars’ integrity, also it could be viewed as a ‘cheap’ consolation prize in an attempt to attract viewers, and Black Panther could end up winning that instead of the top award.
Over the years viewer ratings of the Oscars have steadily fallen. The new category seems like an attempt to entice viewers back.
Thinking positively Black Panther could take both awards. Also, the Best Popular Film award will at least recognise films that the paying audience enjoyed, which the industry didn’t… Popular films deserve recognition along with the argument around Superhero films, and even more so comedies.
There’s also strong possibility that Black Panther will score a record number of nominations along with Best Picture. Ryan Coogler for Best Director, Chadwick Boseman for Best Actor, Michael B Jordan for Best Supporting Actor, Danai Gurira Best Supporting Actress and even more excitingly our very own Letitia Wright who was a scene stealer the minute she appeared on screen could also get a Supporting Actress nod. I’m confident that Black Panther will get a load of craft nominations including Hair & Makeup, Best Costume for Ruth E. Carter, Rachel Morrison probably definitely for Best Cinematography all of them probably.
We’re biased so of course, we’re talking about Black Panther, but the new category sets a precedent for other films too…
The Oscars air February 24, 2019… We’ll see what happens!