Oscars to include new “Fan Favorite” award this year


Oscar buzz now includes movies that hit box office records, making the event more appealing to fans. 

Carlos Eduardo M. Botelho

The Academy Awards announced the creation of a Fan Favorite category, hoping to increase the ceremony’s viewership. 

On Feb. 8, the Academy Awards of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 94th edition of the Oscars. To increase viewership, the Academy created a Fan Favorite category allowing fans to vote on their favorite movie of the year.

Working side by side with Twitter, any film enthusiast can nominate a movie with #OscarFanFavorite. The winner will be announced March 27 alongside major categories such as Best Picture and Best Director. 

Meryl Johnson, digital marketing vice-president of the Academy, said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, “We’re thrilled to announce to partner with Twitter to help build an engaged and excited digital audience leading up to this year’s ceremony.” 

In recent years, it has been no secret that the Academy Awards has increased its efforts to create a more engaging show for the average film fan. In 2021, the Oscars experienced an all-time low viewership of 9.85 million, which is considerably less than the 23.6 million reached in the 2020 edition of the awards.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the loss of spectators. However, as March 27 approaches, the Oscars are trying to step up their game. The creation of a Fan Favorite category allows more recognizable films such as “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Encanto” and “Dune” to be in the conversation of the best films of the year.

Many of the movies nominated at the major awards are not popular ones. Although films like “West Side Story,” “Drive my Car” and “Licorice Pizza” are great cinematic achievements, they usually go under the radar and are not big box office draws.

Adding a Fan Favorite category is not the only approach the Oscars are taking to increase popularity. As the ceremony approaches, rumors of an Oscar host have been circling the film community. 

Although names such as Tom Holland and Steve Martin have been in the discussion, the Academy announced Feb. 15 during “Good Morning America” that Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall will be the hosts. 

The last time the Oscars had a host was in 2018, and although this is not the first time multiple celebrities have been selected to lead the ceremony, the addition of three women is unprecedented. All three are comedic actresses, which increases the chances for a more exciting event.

The Oscars will air live on ABC on March 27, with the broadcast scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.