The Oscars are set to introduce a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film.

The new category is one of three significant changes that have been approved by the Academy's board of governors, with the introduction of the popular film category meaning that films which are popular with audiences, but not critics, are now more likely to be recognised at the annual awards bash.

The board of governors has also agreed to an earlier date for the 2020 ceremony and has announced plans to shorten the broadcast to three hours in order to make the Oscars ''more accessible for our viewers worldwide''.

The introduction of the new category may go someway towards combating increasing criticism of the event, which has been described as becoming less and less relevant over the years.

Some moviegoers argue that the awards don't recognise the films that the public are most interested in watching.

For instance, Marvel's 'Black Panther' - which starred Chadwick Boseman - was a huge hit at the worldwide box office, grossing more than $1.3 billion.

However, the widely acclaimed superhero movie didn't receive substantial recognition during awards season.

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o was among the star-studded cast for 'Black Panther' and she previously admitted to being shocked that such a script was written for a Marvel movie.

Lupita - who worked with director Ryan Coogler on the blockbuster success - explained: ''Marvel called and said that Ryan was interested in me for a role in 'Panther', and I talked to him about it, and obviously everything was hush-hush, but he walked me through his initial ideas, and I thought, 'Wait a minute? This is a Marvel movie?'''