Films made by Netflix will still be allowed to compete for the Oscars, the Academy has announced, in a victory for the company and all streaming services.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - the body which awards the Oscars - voted early on Wednesday not to change its rules for winning an Oscar.
The decision follows a battle over how long a film must play on the big screens in theatres before being launched on the internet, DVD or other mediums that put it on the small screen.
The Academy's board of governors said that the existing rules, which say a film has to run in a theatre for only seven days in Los Angeles to qualify, had won.
"We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions," said John Bailey, president of the Academy.
Some cinema owners have complained that short runs at a theatre means more people will stay home to watch films on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, instead of paying to see it at the cinema.
"If you damage the business and take away 10 per cent of our customers, we won't be able to reinvest in the theatrical experience," said Greg Marcus, chief executive of The Marcus Corporation, owner of the fourth-largest US cinema chain.
"That would ultimately hurt content providers."
Some filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg, have taken the side of cinema owners and said that films which are shown primarily on the small screen should only compete for television awards, such as the Emmys.
But supporters of Netflix and similar services said that their offering could co-exist with the cinemas.
Ticket sales in 2018 reached a record $41 billion globally and $12 billion in the United States and Canada, even as Netflix released about 90 movies for streaming.
"We're not talking about something that's broken," said Tim Richards, CEO of Vue International cinemas.
In February, Netflix won three Oscars for Roma, which streamed three weeks after a limited theatrical debut.
Netflix tweeted that it "loved cinema" but also supported access for people who cannot afford, or do not live close to, cinemas.
Mr Bailey said the rule could be revisited next year.
"We plan to further study the profound changes occurring in our industry and continue discussions with our members about these issues," he said.