AMC Theatres
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Awards Academy calls for expanded filming for Best Picture 2025 nominees

Academy calls for expanded filming for Best Picture 2025 nominees

AMC Theatres

When the Academy’s board met in April to tighten rules and regulations for the next Oscars set for March 10, 2024, they left debate over new requirements to broaden public theater performance criteria for the Oscars on the table. ‘eligibility for the Oscars in the best picture category. In a meeting today the governors approved changes to the eligibility of the exhibition, starting with the 97th Academy Awards to be held in 2025, for films released in 2024.

Eligibility for achievements in other Oscar categories will not be affected by this new requirement.

As before, films must open for one week in theaters in six qualifying cities across the United States (Los Angeles County; New York City; Bay Area; Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and Atlanta, Georgia). Thereafter, the film must add an extended seven-day theatrical run, consecutive or non-consecutive, in 10 of the top 50 U.S. markets, no later than 45 days after initial release in 2024.

This will force Netflix to book a larger theatrical footprint than it prefers with movies like ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’, which has been booked strictly for a week. Netflix uses its theaters in New York and Los Angeles for promotional purposes, but is expected to book 15 cities.

This also applies to year-end releases that plan to expand after January 10, 2025. In such a scenario, distributors must submit their release plans to the Academy for review, and the theatrical run expansion must be completed by January 24, 2025.

Non-US territory releases may count for two of the 10 markets. Qualifying markets outside the United States include the top 15 international film markets plus the film’s territory of origin.

“As we do every year, we have reviewed and evaluated our theater eligibility requirements for the Oscars,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang. “In support of our mission to celebrate and honor the arts and sciences of film, we hope this expanded theatrical footprint will increase the visibility of films around the world and encourage audiences to experience our art form in a theatrical setting. Based on many conversations with industry partners, we believe this evolution benefits film artists and film lovers alike.”

Adding to the number of theaters and cities that films must book to be eligible for the Oscars is meant to encourage theatrical attendance. This won’t disrupt studio release plans, where budgets are already allocated to market more runs over time. But meeting these requirements places a greater burden on less-funded independent film distributors who may not have the significant resources to sustain longer runs in more cities.

Truth be told, 10 markets isn’t as punishing as the previously discussed three or four weeks in 15 or 20 cities would have been. But a micro-indie like “To Leslie” ended up in six theaters and grossed less than $30,000 in the US.

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