The Oscars tighten the theatrical requirements to qualify for Best Picture

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has significantly raised the benchmarks a film must meet to be eligible for a Best Picture nomination, the organization behind the Oscars announced Wednesday.

Under the new rules, which take effect in 2024, a film must have a week-long theatrical rating run in one of six US cities, followed by additional seven-day runs in 10 of the top 50 markets. from the USA to be nominated for Best Picture at the 97th Academy Awards. That ceremony will take place in early 2025 for movies released in 2024. Movies released in 2023 are not affected by the rule changes.

Current rules call for a weeklong race in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta or the San Francisco Bay Area, a requirement retained by the new standards. Under the new rules, those extra theatrical showings must take place no later than 45 days after the film’s initial release and may be consecutive or non-consecutive.

A seven-day theatrical release in a foreign country may be used in lieu of two of the 10 required markets, as long as that country is one of the top 15 non-US markets or is the film’s country of origin in question.

The newly announced rules apply only to the Best Picture category at the Oscars. It is not known if further rule changes will be enacted that affect other categories.

The new rules won’t disqualify movies that open on a streaming service on the same day as their initial theatrical release, but will require companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to distribute their movies to theaters in more cities and for longer than the regulations. current. require.

If a film is released later in the year, distributors must submit release plans showing that the additional release will be completed no later than January 24, 2025.

In a press release announcing the new regulations, Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang said: “In support of our mission to celebrate and honor the arts and sciences of filmmaking, We hope this expanded theatrical footprint will increase the visibility of films around the world and encourage audiences to experience our art form on a theatrical stage. Based on many conversations with industry partners, we believe this evolution benefits artists and movie lovers alike.”

Theatrical standards are the latest product of a discussion that has been going on within the Academy for years, as theatrical performance has declined, companies like Netflix, Amazon and Apple have gotten into the movie business and studios like Disney and Warner Bros. have used their streaming platforms to distribute movies. During the pandemic, the Oscars did away with its theatrical requirement entirely, but it was brought back for the 95th Oscars amid ongoing rumors that the Academy was flirting with rules that would make it very difficult for streamers to compete for Oscars. The academy.

The new rules don’t do that, with the additional 10-market, 7-day expansion, something streamers like Netflix and Amazon can and have done in the past. The expanded theatrical standards also don’t require companies to post the theatrical grosses for their movies, which Netflix, for example, doesn’t.

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