The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors has approved new requirements to broaden the public theatrical exhibition criteria for Oscars® eligibility in the Best Picture category starting with the 97th Academy Awards®, for films released in 2024.
Upon completion of an initial qualifying run, currently defined as a one-week theatrical release in one of the six U.S. qualifying cities, a film must meet the following additional theatrical standards for Best Picture eligibility:
Expanded theatrical run of seven days, consecutive or non-consecutive, in 10 of the top 50 U.S. markets, no later than 45 days after the initial release in 2024.
For late-in-the-year films with expansions after January 10, 2025, distributors must submit release plans to the Academy for verification.
Release plans for late-in-the-year films must include a planned expanded theatrical run, as described above, to be completed no later than January 24, 2025.
Non-U.S. territory releases can count towards two of the 10 markets.
Qualifying non-U.S. markets include the top 15 international theatrical markets plus the home territory for the film.
“As we do every year, we have been reviewing and assessing our theatrical 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 moviemaking, it is our hope that this expanded theatrical footprint will increase the visibility of films worldwide and encourage audiences to experience our artform in a theatrical setting. Based on many conversations with industry partners, we feel that this evolution benefits film artists and movie lovers alike.”
NATO CEO/President Michael O’Leary issued a statement on behalf of enthused theater owners:
“On behalf of the men and women who operate movie theaters across this nation, NATO applauds the Academy’s decision to require nominees for Best Picture to have a more substantial theatrical footprint beginning in 2025. We specifically want to thank Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang for their leadership on this important initiative.
This decision recognizes that to be fully appreciated as the art form they truly are, motion pictures must be experienced as intended: in a theater full of people, on a big screen, with state-of-the-art projection, sound and lighting.
The Oscars are recognized by moviegoers around the world as the pinnacle of artistic accomplishment in motion pictures, and this important step, taken by the Academy, affirms that theatrical exhibition is the keystone of the industry. Simply put, the best movies in the world are at their best on the big screen.“
Eligibility for achievements in the various discipline categories will not be impacted by this requirement, as they only relate to the category of Best Picture.
Click here for more information on the rules and regulations surrounding eligibility for the Academy Awards.