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Academy Adds ‘Popular Film’ Category to Oscars

Charmaine Blake

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(CNN)Could this be “Black Panther’s” big chance?

On Wednesday, the organization announced a number of impending changes to the Oscars, including its intention to add a new category for achievement in popular film.
The details regarding eligibility in this category have not been announced — and the Academy did not say when the change would take effect — but the new award’s purpose is clear: make sure the box office’s biggest money makers have a chance to walk away with Oscars gold.
There have been instances in the past where this has already happened, of course.
Films like “Titanic,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” and “Forrest Gump” ruled the box office in their respective years and also earned best picture awards. But recent years have seen some of the year’s top-grossing films either earn awards solely in technical categories or get shut out of the Oscars completely. (One of the few exceptions to this was “American Sniper,” which grossed $350 million domestically and earned a best picture nomination.)

Last year’s best picture winner, “The Shape of Water,” earned $63 million domestically and topped out at No. 10 in box office rankings during its time in theaters, according to figures from Box Office Mojo.

The Academy’s motivation for extending honors to so-called popular films is a hope that the new award will help attract viewers. The most-watched telecast in Oscars history was in 1998 when “Titanic” won.

Last year’s telecast hit an all-time low in ratings with just 26.5 million viewers, a drop of 20% from the previous year.

Other changes set to take place, according to the Academy: a stricter adherence to a three-hour telecast and an earlier airdate for the 92nd annual Oscars.
The Academy had said the date of the 2020 ceremony would be February 23. That has changed to February 9.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/08/entertainment/academy-popular-film-category/index.html

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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 premiere breaks massive ratings record

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Drogon and Rhaegal joined 17.4 million viewers in watching Dany and Jon get it on.

Image: hbo

If it felt like everyone and their mother (of dragons) was watching Game of Thrones onSunday night, it’s because they were.

According to HBO, a staggering 17.4 million viewers across cable, HBO Go, and HBO Now tuned into the Game of Thrones: Season 8 premiere on Sunday — surpassing Thrones‘ previous ratings record from the finale of Season 7, which brought in 16.9 million viewers in July 2017.

The debut of Thrones’ final season marked the largest night of streaming activity in HBO’s history, and that means great things for the service’s other series.

Barry, a tense dramedy starring Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader, followed Thrones and saw its best night ever with 2.2 million viewers.

Similarly, HBO’s long-running comedy VEEP, which followed Barry, experienced its best night since June 2016 with 1.5 million viewers.

And then Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which followed VEEP (which followed Barry, which followed Thrones), championed its best night since August 2016, bringing in an audience of 1.7 million.

As fans play catch up on Sunday’s Thrones premiere — and dive into the five remaining Thrones episodes in the coming weeks — viewership is likely to continue climbing for HBO programming across the board.

Ultimately, Game of Thrones: Season 7 averaged 32.8 million viewers per episode. Season 8 is sure to burn that record right up. (Er… sorry, little Ned.)

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/game-of-thrones-season-8-premiere-ratings-record/

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HBO finally sets a date for the return of ‘Deadwood’

Charmaine Blake

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“15 years after HBO’s acclaimed and award-winning series Deadwood premiered, the cable network has finally shared a teaser for its movie revival.

The two-hour film picks up 10 years after finale, which aired in 2006. It stars returning actors Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Paula Malcolmson, Anna Gunn, Robin Weigert, and Gerald McRaney among others.

Deadwood will premiere on May 31, cutting it just in time for Emmy eligibility this year.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/video/deadwood-revival-teaser-date/

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Jordan Peele explains the significance of the Michael Jackson imagery in ‘Us’

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“It’s 1986 and a little girl wearing a Michael Jackson T-shirt is at a fun fair with her mum and dad. That’s the opening scene we’re met with in Jordan Peele’s new movie Us. 

The choice of T-shirt is a striking one given that the movie is being released just weeks after the airing of HBO’s documentary Leaving Neverland. In the documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck gave an account of the alleged sexual abuse they survived at the hands of Michael Jackson.

But this detail isn’t the only nod to Michael Jackson in Us. Subtle nods to Jackson can be found in the outfits worn by the nightmarish doppelgängers that appear in the movie — like the single glove that they wear, and their “Thriller”-red jumpsuits.

Creator and director Jordan Peele told Mashable that the inclusion of this imagery is no accident.

‘Everything in this movie was deliberate, that is one thing I can guarantee you. Unless you didn’t like something and that was a complete accident,’ he said.

Without giving away the entire plot, this movie’s central theme is duality and the danger that lies therein.

‘Michael Jackson is probably the patron saint of duality,” said Peele. “The movie starts in the ’80s — the duality with which I experienced him [Jackson] in that time was both as the guy that presented this outward positivity, but also the “Thriller” video which scared me to death.’

Jackson’s duality obviously extends beyond the horror-inspired ‘Thriller’ video, too……………………………………………………..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/jordan-peele-michael-jackson-us-movie/

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