The Academy has sent out its rule changes for the 95th Oscars. That means films will have to have qualifying theatrical runs, as Scott Feinberg reports, along with other rule changes:
After two cycles shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy is now returning to its traditional calendar year eligibility period and requirement of a theatrical release. A feature film must have a qualifying theatrical release date between Jan. 1, 2022 and Dec 31, 2022. Posting a film on the Academy Screening Room — the Academy’s members-only streaming service — will no longer be a method of qualification, given that the vast majority of theaters have reopened. However, the Academy will continue to abide by its pandemic-era decision to allow films to qualify by screening not just in Los Angeles County or the City of New York, but also in the Bay Area; Chicago; Miami; or Atlanta. This will apply to general entry categories as well as the documentary and short film categories.
Considering the Best Picture prize this year went to CODA, which made just $1 million in theatrical revenue, the Oscars seemed to have moved on from theatrical last year, both because audiences didn’t show up for the movies Hollywood put out — and because SAG and the Oscar voters went for a streaming film for the first time in their history. They must have felt that culture quake and are now trying to put the Titanic back on course.
We have yet to see how this year’s slate will play, and whether they will bring people into theaters or not. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But this is a move by the Academy to put their support once again behind actual movie theaters.