The Oscars award show adding a “Most Popular Film” title will lead to much complication and could result in certain films being limited to only some awards, suggests Todd VanDerWerff of Vox. When the “Best Animated Feature” category was added, it resulted in animated movies being partially cut off from being able to win the “Best Picture” award, no matter how popular or good they were. Judging what film was the most popular will be very hard and, if done wrongly, could result in the title going to the “Best Picture” winner most of the time. With few good explanations, and seemingly rushed, this was a bad addition.
The decision to add a “Most Popular Film” category at the Oscars is going to allow for a more even and tailored distribution of awards, infers Rebecca Fleenor of CNet. Particularly big productions have been quietly kept away from winning “Best Picture” for many years now. Nowadays, it tends to go to lower-budget movies. While this gives a spotlight to great art like Spotlight or The Shape of Water, it robs the most expensive films of a reward for their work. This is a good solution for the Oscars, which will help the award show to balance honoring artistic but less popular films, as well as more ‘low brow’ but highly entertaining ones.