Maybe “Spider-Man: No Way Home” won’t be completely shut out of the Oscars. On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it is partnering with Twitter to hold a fan vote and sweepstakes for viewers to pick their favorite film of the year.
Movie fans can use the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite to vote for their favorite film of the year — Best Picture nominee or not — until March 3, with the film receiving the most votes being recognized during the ABC telecast on March 27.
In addition, the fan vote will serve as a sweepstakes with three winners getting flown out to Los Angeles in 2023 to serve as a presenter for next year’s awards. Another sweepstakes will be held with the hashtag #OscarsCheerMoment, which will allow fans to select their favorite scenes from films in 2021 with the top vote-getters being featured during the telecast and five voters receiving a prize pack that includes free movie tickets for a year and streaming subscriptions.
The fan vote won’t come with its own Oscar for the winning film, which was considered by the Academy for the 2019 ceremony in an effort to boost ratings but was dropped after swift backlash from Academy members and the film industry at large.
But the Oscars are trying to find new ways to get people to tune in, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of interest in the nominees led to ratings plummeting by more than 50% last year. This year’s nominees have also largely drawn little interest from the general public — at least when it comes to buying theater tickets — with sci-fi blockbuster “Dune” accounting for 56% of the $191 million grossed by this year’s Best Picture contenders and none of the nominees still in theaters grossing over $1 million this past weekend.