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Oscars Pulls Popular Movie Category, Decides To Just Keep Awarding Good Movies Instead

File: Emma Stone (L) and Guillermo del Toro, winner of the Best Director and Best Picture awards for 'he Shape of Water, at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood. (Photo by Matt Sayles/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images)
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The Academy Awards made headlines by announcing a new award specifically honoring popular movies last month. Now, they're taking it back -- not a complete about-face, but they say the popular film category needs "further study."

"The Academy recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year creates challenges for films that have already been released," the Motion Picture Academy said in a statement.

They also acknowledged the mixed response to the award, which was slammed by many inside and outside the industry. It was widely criticized as creating an unnecessary divide between critically acclaimed films and those that just do well at the box office, all in an attempt to win more viewers at a time ratings have been down.

"We recognize the need for further discussion with our members," Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. "We have made changes to the Oscars over the years -- including this year -- and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years."

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Still, they noted that the Academy's Board of Governors continues to discuss the idea, planning to look at it closer while seeking more outside input.

Previously announced changes that are going into effect include shortening the telecast to three categories. They announced Thursday that between six and eight categories will be presented to the crowd during commercial breaks, with the wins edited and aired later in the broadcast. They also added that categories selected for this treatment would be rotated each year.

They'd also previously announced that the 2020 Oscars would be moving up a couple weeks. One big move coming up -- the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards are moving to June, rather than being held shortly before the main awards show.

"The technologies honored to not represent achievements within a specific awards year," the Academy said in a statement.

The next Oscars are set for Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at L.A.'s Dolby Theatre, and will be aired live on ABC.

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