Published On: Sun, Mar 10th, 2024

Oscars’ new streaming rule explained – and how it will impact Best Picture | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV

The qualifications to get a nomination for Best Picture at this year’s were drastically altered.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences‘ new rules were approved by the group’s 54-member board of governors in 2023.

They expanded the theatrical requirement for films to qualify for Best Picture at the 97th Academy Awards. So films needed to have spent more time in the theaters to qualify for the coveted nomination.

Under the new rules, a film needs to continue its run beyond the previous requirement — a one-week theatrical release in one of six U.S. qualifying cities — to be eligible for Best Picture, according to the L.A. Times.

Films need to add an additional theatrical run of seven days, consecutive or nonconsecutive, and it must happen in 10 of the top 50 U.S. markets, no later than 45 days after the initial release in 2024. (Non-U.S. territory releases can count toward two of the 10 markets.)

It’s the academy’s latest attempt to address audiences’ shift toward streaming, as companies like Netflix, Amazon and Apple continue to fight for inclusion in awards campaigns.

The expanded theatrical requirement should be easy for major streamers, but it could end up being a challenge for smaller independent and international films.

It’s relatively easy for a streamer to choose the one or two films it wants to promote and meet the new guidelines, but indie filmmakers will suddenly have to navigate the expanded theatrical business.

“My heart goes out to young filmmakers who might find it hard to get to 10 markets,” said veteran publicity executive Melody Korenbrot. “They’re going to need someone to help them navigate these new rules — or else they’re going to need a lot of credit cards.”

Korenbrot, whose company handles release and awards campaigns for a number of independent distributors, including Sony Pictures Classics, sees indie films have a problem being able to book a theater in a top-50 market at a time of year when so many high-profile titles from studios are also hitting theaters.

“That fight for space is going to be difficult,” she says.

The move appears to favor movie theaters and it’s the Academy’s way of supporting the industry after three years of box office horrors due to the pandemic.

Either way, the new rule might not work because Oscar contenders tend to be “prestige films,” as Forbes points out, gaining critics’ approval but not the box office.

The last time a Best Picture winner grossed more than $100 million domestically was Argo in 2012.

It makes no difference whether a streamer or a traditional studio produces a film.

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