In a more general sense, there is a much easier fix for this problem of not having enough box office hits nominated for the top awards, and that's to simply go back to nominating ten films. When they first expanded the nominees, they did nominate ten for a period of two years (2009-10), which allowed movies like The Blind Side, Toy Story 3, Up, Inception, District 9 and Avatar to be nominated alongside critically acclaimed arthouse films. It was kind of the perfect mix of what they said they wanted. But then voters apparently complained that it was too hard to fill out ten slots, so the Academy complied and allowed them to go back to picking five, which they extrapolated the top vote getters from, resulting in a total that now varies from 7-9 nominees every year. When they did this, no animated movies or franchise films got in anymore, so the pretty obvious solution here is to go back to a flat ten and tell the voters to suck it up. If you can't see ten movies over the course of a year, you probably shouldn't be a voting member of the Academy. You guys get screeners and everything, it's not that hard.
As for the other changes, I've long thought there was a need to remove the shorts and perhaps a couple of the craft categories from the telecast (like sound mixing and editing), so that doesn't bother me, but don't give them out during the commercial breaks! Give them the dignity of their own separate ceremony at least, like the Governor's Awards, where lifetime achievement honors are now handed out. And as far moving the show up a couple weeks, that means nothing. The other pre-cursor ceremonies will follow suit (BAFTA has already said they're moving their show ahead of it), and there is simply nothing you can do about the fact that the Oscars are the belated climax of a long, tiresome awards season where everyone else gets to go first. That's not changing. If anything, they should probably embrace it and move the ceremony back to the end of March, where it used to reside for decades. There are ways to adapt the ceremony, but these people managed to come up with the stupidest ideas possible, and I'm not sure why these simple fixes aren't even considered. Best Popular Movie? Really? Come on.