It also wasn't specified whether it would be added for the 91st Academy Awards this February.
Now, the new category doesn't become effective until 2020 so it's unlikely that Black Panther, a film beloved by both critics and the box office alike, was the intended target.
Big-budget blockbusters like the Marvel and Star Wars franchises aren't completely ignored by the Academy: they're usually given a nod for visual effects, sound design or other technical accomplishments.More news: Five things India need to do in second Test at Lord's
To add a "most popular film" category while ignoring those sections of the film industry who are legitimately asking to share the Oscar spotlight will only serve to amplify criticism of, and frustration with, the Academy.
There are sure to be mixed feelings when it comes to something like this. Others anxious that the creation of the new category would effectively ruin Black Panther's chance at Best Picture. And while plenty of award shows have seen ratings decline, Variety reports that none suffered almost this badly. "The Oscars creating a whole new category so they don't have to acknowledge Black Panther in the best picture category is the most racist and elitist thing I have heard today", read yet another tweet.
Among the changes is to present fewer categories live.
Also, the 92nd Oscar ceremony in 2020 will air on the much earlier date of Sunday, February 9, presumably to battle complaints that the show's usual late-February or early-March date feels a little late.More news: Green Bay Packers: 3 possible trades to acquire Khalil Mack
To keep the ceremony to three hours, the academy vows to present only select categories live. However, these winners will still be televised later in the broadcast, in the form of montage videos that will air later in the evening.
This change passed the voting process, which signifies how important it is to make the Oscars broadcast more appealing to a wider range of viewers. "The Board of Governors took this charge seriously", the message stated. Obviously, this is the largest adjustment announced, and also the funniest.
The board also announced it would bring forward the date of the 2020 Oscars ceremony to February 9 - about three weeks earlier than usual.More news: Samsung Note 9 to have 512GB internal memory