Until Academy members start nominating mainstream movies for best picture, Oscar ratings will likely remain underwater.
Under its previous leadership, the Academy reinvented itself as a far-flung group of about 10,000 cinema artists whose thoughts about best pictures are way out of synch with what moviegoers think. So films like NO TIME TO DIE (pictured) or SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME has NO chance of getting best picture nods.
Those, however, are the kind of movies viewers would root for. A possible solution would be for the Academy to include some mainstream pictures in the proceedings just as film festivals do — with a new Out of Competition Oscars feature. Cannes just had Tom Cruise there with TOP GUN: MAVERICK & Tom Hanks with ELVIS. Oscar could show scenes from boxoffice hits, hosted by their A-List stars.
Three mainstream films could be featured during the telecast with a special prize awarded, based on a vote by Academy governors. These are the movies many of the governors make and they likely have a better sense of their value to Hollywood than the members do.
They’re also the films moviegoers pay to see & the reason theatres are still in business. ABC & the Academy should talk soon about doing this.