The Oscars Will Allow Movies on Streaming Platforms to Compete Again

In one other benefit for streaming, movies can skip a theatrical launch completely — for the second yr in a row — and nonetheless be eligible for the Academy Awards, which is able to subsequent be held on March 27, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stated on Thursday.

In making its choice, the group cited a market “still impacted by the pandemic.” Movie theaters within the United States reopened months in the past with restricted capability. Cinemas in some areas of South America, Europe and Asia are closed or have solely reopened lately.

Only movies that had a beforehand deliberate theatrical launch are eligible for Oscar consideration underneath the streaming rule, the academy stated. (In different phrases, no conventional TV films can enter the fray.)

The academy had beforehand required at the very least a perfunctory theatrical launch of at the very least per week in Los Angeles. Netflix, Amazon Studios and different streaming companies reluctantly acceded to that rule, which was dropped in April 2020 because the pandemic surged. At the time, the academy stated it will restore its theatrical launch requirement after cinemas returned to regular operation. On Thursday, the academy indicated that its place was unchanged.

The streaming wars have vastly reshaped the film business. Amazon introduced on Wednesday its acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a deal that can bolster its movie library for its Prime Video service. And final week, AT&T introduced a deal to spin off its WarnerMedia group and mix it with Discovery Inc., a transfer meant to strengthen WarnerMedia’s struggling HBO Max streaming service and a nascent streaming platform owned by Discovery.

Movies seen primarily on streaming companies dominated the latest Oscars.

Nominations for the 94th Academy Awards shall be introduced on Feb. eight. The timing of the ceremony was influenced by plenty of components, together with a want to avoid different live-television occasions such because the Winter Olympic Games, that are scheduled to happen in China in February. It has been onerous sufficient for the academy to get individuals to watch the Oscars telecast with out competitors: About 10 million individuals watched the 93rd Academy Awards final month, fewer than half the quantity a yr earlier.