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Netflix wins Oscar battle to win Oscars in the future

Netflix wins Oscar battle to win Oscars in the future
[Photo: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive]

The Academy of Motion Picture and Arts and Sciences has ruled that films from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime will still be eligible to win Academy Awards. The Academy had considered changing Rule Two, which allowed any film to be eligible for an Academy Award as long as it had a seven-day run in a Los Angeles theater.

With the rise of streaming video services, in the last several years many in the film industry wanted that rule changed to say films up for Oscars needed to have longer theatrical runs. One such proponent of this is Steven Spielberg, who said that movies that are shown primarily on television should be up for Emmys, not Oscars.

But upon announcing the rules for the 92nd Academy Awards today, the Academy announced Rule Two would stay as it is:

The Academy’s Board of Governors voted to maintain Rule Two, Eligibility for the 92nd Oscars. The rule states that to be eligible for awards consideration, a film must have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theater, with at least three screenings per day for paid admission. Motion pictures released in nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County theatrical qualifying run remain eligible.

Last February, the Netflix movie Roma won three Oscars after a very limited theatrical debut. Announcing that Rule Two would not be changed, Academy president John Bailey said:

“We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions. Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration. We plan to further study the profound changes occurring in our industry and continue discussions with our members about these issues.”

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