The COVID-era of theatrical eligibility to qualify for Best Picture will soon come to an end, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plans to revamp its rules for the 2024-2025 Awards season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, films will no longer be eligible to qualify for Best Picture if they run in theatres for one week but will instead require to play in cinemas for a longer period.
Starting in 2024, a movie will need to have an expanded run of seven consecutive or non-consecutive days in ten of the top 50 U.S. markets no later than 45 days after its initial release. For movies released during awards season with an expansion planned after January 10, studios will have to submit their release plans to the Academy for verification.
This must be planned during its run and completed before January 24, 2025, for wide releases. Non-U.S. Territories can also count for two of the ten markets they need to hit, and qualifying non-U.S. markets include the top 15 international markets plus the home territory for the film they want to consider.
In a joint statement, Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang expressed that as they do yearly, “we have been reviewing and assessing our theatrical eligibility requirements for the Oscars. In support of our mission to celebrate and honor the arts and sciences of moviemaking, it is our hope that this expanded theatrical footprint will increase the visibility of films worldwide and encourage audiences to experience our artform in a theatrical setting. Based on many conversations with industry partners, we feel that this evolution benefits film artists and movie lovers alike.”
Whilst most studios already respect the eligibility requirements, this move from the Academy is a severe blow for streamers, who have been using limited theatrical runs to qualify for Best Picture contention. Netflix, in particular, has released movies for a very limited time in select theatres to qualify for a run at the Oscars, but now it looks like they will have to get into the theatrical game much more seriously. Apple has already announced that Martin Scorsese‘s Killers of the Flower Moon, Ridley Scott‘s Napoleon, and Matthew Vaughn‘s Argylle will have wide theatrical releases, whilst Amazon Studios have also expressed their desire to release more movies exclusively in theatres, such as Ben Affleck‘s Air, which was a commercial success for the streamer.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter