Despite a steep decline in the ratings for the Oscars ceremony for 2021, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the dates for next year's Oscars confirming a March 27, 2022 date. The event had previously been set for Sunday, February 27, 2022 but will be delayed a whole month. According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter this delay of the ceremony doesn't mean an extension in the eligibility window for the 94th Oscars, with December 31, 2021 still the cut off point for movies to be considered eligible. Last year's Oscars had an extended window, meaning that the current window will be a short one (only films released between March 1 and the end of the year are eligible).
The 2020 Academy Awards, when Parasite won best picture, would be the lowest rated Oscars of the time with 23.6 million viewers, a number quickly undercut by 2021's ceremony, when Nomadland won the top prize, which brought in just 9.8 million viewers. There's been no indication about how the Academy or the producers for next year's show (who haven't been hired) will attempt to circumvent the continuing decline in ratings, but the COVID-19 pandemic was almost certainly one reason that the ratings took a dip. Last year saw minimal major blockbusters nominated, with primarily intimate streaming titles making the cut, which likely eliminated a lot of general public interest.
The pandemic didn't just force a change in the eligibility window for films but also saw a rule change wherein the required theatrical release was waived for those hoping for consideration, a rule that will continue for next year's ceremony as well according to THR. The trade notes that the 95th Oscars in 2023 will have different eligibility requirements which will be announced later.
THR has further details on key dates for next year's ceremony including that The Oscar Shortlists will be announced on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. Nominations voting for next year's ceremony will be held from January 27, 2022 to February 1, 2022 with nominations being announced February 8, 2022. Final voting will take place from March 17 to March 22, 2022, and the ceremony on Sunday, March 27, 2022.
This marks the latest announcement from The Academy who announced earlier this week that this year's new class of members will be limited with roughly half the amount of candidates added to AMPAS in year's past.
"As we look to the future growth and goals of the Academy, we need to scale appropriately so we can continue to give the personal service our members have come to expect and appreciate," said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. "We remain focused on cultivating a membership body that reflects our diverse film community and the world around us."