In a move designed to signal Hollywood’s commitment to the movie-viewing experience, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Wednesday that an expanded theatrical run will be required for films seeking to be eligible for a Best Picture nomination. release will be required.
The new eligibility rules certainly affect how Netflix and other streaming services release the movies they deem Oscar-worthy. And this can be a deterrent for smaller distributors who lack the means to release films in cities across the United States.
Oscar-oriented films have struggled mightily at the box office in recent years, leading some to wonder whether the importance of the big screen has been forever replaced by the streaming era. In 2022, Apple TV+’s “CODA” became the first film from a streaming service to win the Best Picture Oscar.
To be eligible for a Best Picture nomination, films are required to have already had an initial qualifying run in theaters, which must be played for one week in one of six US cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco or Miami). defined as the release of , Beginning in 2024, those films will be required to have a theatrical presence in 10 of the top 50 US markets for the next seven days (either consecutive or non-consecutive), no later than 45 days after its initial release. Two out of 10 markets in an expanded release can be outside the United States if they are included in the top 15 international theatrical markets.
The move, voted on by the Academy’s Board of Governors at its most recent meeting, is an apparent attempt to stop streaming companies like Netflix, which release movies on their services with as little theatrical presence as possible, from eroding the movie-watching experience. I like it.
“It is our hope that this expanded theatrical footprint will increase the visibility of films around the world and encourage audiences to experience our art,” Academy Chief Executive Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang said in a statement. “Based on numerous conversations with industry partners, we feel this development benefits filmmakers and movie lovers alike.”
For films releasing at the end of the year, distributors must submit their plans for an extended release. Those plans for the 2024 films must be completed by January 24, 2025.
Netflix said the eligibility requirements would not have a significant impact on its release strategy. It was noted that “All Quiet on the Western Front”, which was nominated for Best Picture that year, was released in 35 theaters in 20 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto.