Beginning in 2024, films will no longer be eligible for the Best Picture Oscar with a theatrical release of only one week in an approved city, but will require a longer stay in theaters, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday. It’s a move that seems aimed at boosting cinemas and emphasizing the difference between works made for the big and small screens.
The Academy’s board of governors earlier this month approved the new requirements, which, again, won’t affect current season’s Oscar contenders.
Upon completion of its initial qualifying run—currently defined as a one-week theatrical release in one of the six eligible U.S. cities—the film must meet the following additional theatrical criteria for best picture eligibility including an extended theatrical run of seven days, consecutive or non-consecutive , in 10 of the top 50 markets in the United States, no later than 45 days after initial release in 2024. For late-year films with expansions after January 10, 2025, distributors must submit release plans to the Academy for verification.
Release plans for late-year films must include a planned extended theatrical run, as described above, to be completed no later than January 24, 2025; Releases outside the United States can be counted in two of the ten markets; Eligible non-US markets include the top 15 international theatrical markets as well as the film’s home region.
While nearly all releases from traditional Hollywood studios will meet these requirements, they are likely to affect the plans—and pocketbooks—of overseas exhibitors and distributors, who don’t usually keep films in theaters in major cities for long. However, it is understood that stakeholders of all kinds were consulted to arrive at the new requirements.
“As we do every year, we have been reviewing and assessing the theatrical eligibility requirements for the Academy Awards,” the Academy’s CEO said Bill Kramer And the president of the academy Janet Yang he said in a statement. “In support of our mission to celebrate and honor the arts and sciences of filmmaking, we hope this expanded theatrical footprint will increase film visibility around the world and encourage audiences to experience our art in a theatrical setting. Based on many conversations with industry partners, we feel this development benefits film artists and movie lovers alike.”
Michael O’Leary“On behalf of the men and women who run movie theaters across this country, NATO commends the Academy’s decision to require the Best Picture nominees to have a larger theatrical footprint beginning in 2025,” NATO’s President and CEO said in a statement. I thank Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang for their leadership on this important initiative.”
The statement continued, “This decision recognizes that, to be fully appreciated as the art form that it really is, motion pictures must be experienced as intended: in a theater full of people, on a big screen, with state-of-the-art projection, sound, and lighting.” “The Academy Awards have been recognized worldwide as the pinnacle of artistic achievement in motion pictures, and this important step by the Academy confirms that theatrical presentation is a cornerstone of the industry. Simply put, the world’s best films appear at their best on the big screen.”
June 21 at 4:49 p.m Updated with Michael O’Leary’s statement.