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The Academy Will Let Twitter Pick A Fan Favorite Movie For The Oscars

The Academy is introducing a new way for movie fans to get involved in the upcoming 94th annual Academy Awards in March: letting Twitter users vote on their favorite movies. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Twitter users can cast up to 20 votes per day using the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite between February 14 and March 3. The film that receives the most votes during that time period will receive some sort of recognition during the Oscars broadcast on March 27, regardless of whether or not that film has been nominated for an award at the ceremony.

If that weren't enough incentive for fans to vote for their favorite movie of the year, three Twitter users who vote during this time period will be selected to travel to Los Angeles and actually present an award at the 95th Academy Awards in 2023. Additionally, THR reports that Twitter users can also use the hashtag #OscarsCheerMoment to talk about their favorite scene from a film in 2021 — the winning scenes (and their associated tweets) will apparently be shown during the Oscars broadcast, and prizes will be awarded to users whose scenes are recognized.

"The idea that a movie fan might see their Tweet during The Oscars broadcast is pretty epic," Twitter head of U.S. entertainment and news partnerships Sarah Rosen told THR. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with The Academy to bring this to life."

The partnership is part of the Academy's efforts to drive viewers to the Oscars

The Academy Awards have faced an increasingly dire problem in recent years: each year, fewer people tune into the live ceremony. According to Statista, the 93rd Oscar ceremony in 2021 drew only 9.85 million viewers — less than half the show's television audience than in 2020 and by far its least-watched broadcast of the 21st century. This viewership problem comes during an era in which overlap between Oscar-nominated films and the top-grossing movies of any given year has grown shockingly scarce (via the New York Times).

The only Best Picture-nominated film at this year's ceremony to crack the top 20 highest-grossing films of the year was "Dune," which made $93.4 million at the domestic box office (via Box Office Mojo). In the age of streaming, other Best Picture-nominated films like "Don't Look Up," "The Power of the Dog," and "Coda" barely played in any theaters at all.

The Academy has sought solutions to this problem before. In 2019, it announced a "popular film" award category, meant to help recognize box office hits that might not otherwise earn a selection (via NPR). The category was swiftly eliminated from the ceremony after all kinds of backlash. While the new Twitter fan vote segment doesn't completely resurrect the "popular film" award, it could provide a pathway for enormously popular films like "Spider-Man: No Way Home" to earn a moment of its own at this year's ceremony.