From 1943-1958, The Academy Awards was held in March. In ’59, the show moved to April. From ’73-’88 – the date went back and forth between the two months. And from 1989 to 2003, The Oscars settled for the last or second to last Sunday in March.
It was in 2004, on Leap Day, February 29th, when The Oscars began its current cycle of either the last Sunday in February or the first Sunday in March (in Winter Olympics years). March 7th (in 2010) is the latest The Oscars has been since 2003.
2018 is an Olympics year, so The Oscars will be on March 4th. And The Academy just announced their plan for the following three years: Feb. 24, 2019, Feb. 23, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021.
Can you imagine what would it be like if The Oscars was still held in mid-April? Campaigns would be even more extensive, dragging out an already rigorous Awards Season. And it’s likely winners would’ve been different across the board.
I can’t believe that a mere 14 years ago, The Academy Awards was a full month later than normal. It feels…insane.
A lot has changed in 14 years: the Summer Movie Season has moved-up from Memorial Day weekend to the first Friday (or, rather, Thursday night) in May. If The Oscars was in April, the “Spring” movie season would be eliminated completely.
We just witnessed one of the biggest months of March EVER – thanks to films that were not on Oscar ballots and probably won’t be next year (still holding out for Patrick Stewart in “Logan”, though).
Just a few days after the Envelope-gate stunner, everyone moved on. The Academy makes a lot of crazy decisions, and many I’m not fond of. But in planning the ’04 ceremony, they had the foresight (whether they realized it or not) to see that moving The Oscars up a month would benefit not only the entertainment industry, but the entire country.