Film Academy Requires Best Picture Hopefuls Spend More Time in Theaters

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that it will mandate expanded theatrical releases for films aiming for Best Picture nominations, in a move that signals Hollywood’s commitment to the movie-viewing experience.

The new eligibility rules are sure to affect how Netflix and other streaming services release movies they deem Oscar-worthy. It could also be an obstacle for smaller distributors who don’t have the means to release movies in cities across the country.

Oscar-oriented movies have struggled so badly at the box office in recent years that some have wondered if the streaming age has changed the importance of the big screen forever. In 2022, Apple TV+’s streaming service movie “CODA” won the Academy Award for Best Picture for the first time.

To be eligible for Best Picture nominations, a film must already have its first preliminary screening in theaters. This is defined as his one week showing in any of her six cities in the United States (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco). or Miami). Beginning in 2024, these films must have an additional theatrical release for an additional 7 days (consecutive or non-consecutive) in 10 of the top 50 U.S. markets within 45 days of their initial release. Two of the 10 markets for the extended release are available outside the United States within the top 15 international theatrical markets.

The move comes after a recent Board of Governors resolution voted to erode the movie-watching experience by streaming companies like Netflix, which prefer to release movies on their own services with as few theatrical releases as possible. It is an obvious attempt to prevent .

In a statement, Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang said, “This expansion of the theater will increase the visibility of cinema around the world and encourage audiences to experience our art form in theaters. I hope that I will be able to experience it,” he said. “Based on our numerous conversations with industry partners, we feel this evolution will benefit both film artists and film enthusiasts.”

For films released at the end of the year, the distributor must submit a plan for extended release. These plans should be completed by January 24, 2025 at the latest for the 2024 films.

Netflix said the eligibility requirements don’t have a material impact on its distribution strategy. The magazine noted that “Quiet on the Western Front,” which was nominated for Best Picture of the Year, opened in 35 theaters in 20 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto.

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