The 94th Academy Awards have a new date, moving to March 27, 2022, a month later than originally planned, the Academy of Cinema announced Thursday.
The change seems to indicate that the academy feels the need to put a little more space between the Oscars and live sporting events competing for ever fewer viewers. The 2022 Beijing Olympics are scheduled for February 4-20, while the 2022 Super Bowl is scheduled for February 13.
The Academy of Cinema first marked its 2022 date three years ago, tacitly acknowledging both events in its planning. But a lot has changed since then. Ratings for the awards declined, as did audiences for other live events. This year’s Oscars drew an audience of just 10.4 million, a record high and down 56% from the 23.6 million people who watched in 2020.
And while the low ratings could be partly explained by a pandemic year that left theaters mostly closed and audiences were unaware – and uninterested in – the films and performances that did. won Oscar nominations, the viewer has been eroding for a decade.
The Oscars 2010, who saw “The Hurt Locker” win over “Avatar” for best picture, attracted an average of 41.6 million people, with nearly 80 million people watching at least part of the show.
Cord cutting, streaming, and culture wars have made this type of viewer a part of a bygone era.
This year’s Oscars, held on April 25, came two months later than planned, with the Academy of Cinema extending the eligibility period until February. The 2022 Oscars will revert to the traditional December 31 eligibility deadline. Nominations will be announced on February 8.
The Academy of Cinema also confirmed that the 2022 ceremony will return to the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, its home since 2002. (This year’s show has moved to Union Station.) The organization also added a final note which seems anchored in these current times: All dates are subject to change.