Starting in 2024, movies with a one-week theatrical release in a recognized city will no longer be eligible for the best picture Oscar, but will have to stay in theaters longer, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday. It’s a move ostensibly aimed at boosting theaters and emphasizing the difference between works made for the big and small screens.
The Academy’s Board of Governors approved the new requirements earlier this month, which again will not affect the current season’s Oscar contenders.
After an initial qualifying run — currently defined as a one-week theatrical release in one of six U.S. qualifying cities — a film must meet the following additional theatrical standards for Best Picture eligibility, including a seven-day extended theatrical run. 45 days after initial release in 2024 in 10 of the top 50 U.S. markets either sequentially or non-sequentially. For films with extended release dates after January 10, 2025, distributors must submit release plans. to the Academy for verification.
Release plans for movies coming later in the year include Jan. To be completed after 24, 2025. Non-US regional releases can count toward two of the 10 markets; Eligible non-U.S. markets include the top 15 international theatrical markets and the home territory for the film.
While all releases from traditional Hollywood studios meet these requirements, they are more likely to affect the plans – and pocketbooks – of streamers, indies and foreign distributors. However, all kinds of stakeholders were consulted in deriving the new requirements.
“As we do every year, we are reviewing and evaluating our theatrical eligibility requirements for the Oscars,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President of the Academy Janet Yang said in a statement. “In support of our mission to celebrate and honor the arts and science of filmmaking, it is our hope that this expanded theatrical footprint will increase the visibility of films worldwide and encourage audiences to experience our art in a theatrical setting. Based on many conversations with industry partners, we feel that this evolution benefits filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike.
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