Not too long ago, the Academy attempted to welcome blockbuster films to the race by adding an “outstanding popular film” category to the Oscars. The idea was met with such backlash, though, that it was rescinded before an awards ceremony ever took place.
Now the Golden Globes is attempting to do the same with a new category: cinematic and box office achievement in motion pictures, which will include “nominees from among the year’s highest-earning and/or most viewed films that have gained extensive global audience support and produced exceptional creative content,” according to Tuesday’s announcement.
The awards show, set for January 7, 2024, will also feature another new category, best stand-up comedian on television, which “recognizes outstanding work by a comedic performer.” There will be six nominees in this category, selected for their televised stand-up specials.
“The Golden Globes has a rich history of supporting and celebrating the work of comedians, and we’re thrilled to honor their brilliance alongside outstanding motion picture and television performances of the year,” said Helen Hoehne, Golden Globes president. “Additionally, we are proud to recognize the hard work and innovation that goes into making a film that is both a blockbuster and artistically exceptional.”
The eligibility criteria for the box-office-achievement category requires a total box office gross of $150 million or more, of which $100 million must come from the US domestic box office. But fear not: Streaming films can also compete by amassing a “commensurate digital streaming viewership recognized by trusted industry sources.” And films that are being released toward the end of the year “may qualify based on projected box office performance and/or digital streaming views from trusted industry sources.” The identity of these trusted industry sources is not made clear in the announcement.
The new categories are just the latest step on a long road of renovation for the annual awards event, once considered a major stop of the awards-campaign season. In early 2023, Penske Media Corporation—which owns entertainment news outlets The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Deadline, among others—acquired Dick Clark Productions, which puts on the annual Golden Globe Awards, in a partnership with Eldridge Industries. The new Penske-run organization did away with the label of the Hollywood Foreign Press, previously the name of the group that voted on the Golden Globes Awards. Now simply called “Golden Globes voters,” the voting group is still navigating controversy, according to Deadline, including the removal of three of its members just this month due to alleged code of conduct violations.
The old Hollywood Foreign Press came under fire in 2021 after a Los Angeles Times exposé revealed the lack of diversity among its membership and the questionable behavior of its members. After numerous groups and a powerful cadre of publicists vowed to boycott the event, the organization promised to undergo massive change, adding new and more diverse members and clarifying its code of conduct. The organization did not air a show in 2022, but the Globes returned to its traditional form in 2023, airing on NBC.
Nominations for the Globes will be announced on December 11. As of this moment, however, the biggest question remains where the upcoming Golden Globes will air. The show’s contract with NBC ended in 2023, and a new broadcast partner has not been announced.