“Black Panther” made Academy Award history on Tuesday, becoming the first superhero movie to earn a best picture nomination in the history of the prestigious Hollywood award show.
The flick, directed by Ryan Coogler, has been lauded for its diverse casting and as a breakthrough for representation in the film industry.
Disney’s superhero film was nominated alongside “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice.” Being the only superhero film in the bunch isn’t the only thing that sets “Black Panther” apart from the pack.
It’s also the highest-grossing film of the eight nominees, and has actually earned more money at the U.S. box office than all seven fellow nominees combined.
Disney’s “Black Panther” garnered more than $700 million domestically and an additional $646.8 million internationally, during its run in theaters this year, according to Comscore. It is now the third-highest-grossing movie in U.S. history and the ninth globally.
Comparatively, the other seven nominees grossed around $560 million in total in the U.S. last year.
While “Black Panther” garnered critical acclaim as well as box office success, that won’t mean it will easily nab the win in February. Superhero films have been snubbed at the Oscars in the past. When these films earned nominations and wins, it typically was confined to categories like makeup, visual effects and costuming, not top prizes like best picture.
Only “The Dark Knight” took home a best supporting actor award for the late Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker. “Logan” was nominated for best adapted screenplay, but lost the night of the awards show to “Call Me By Your Name.”
In fact, a “popular” film hasn’t won best picture since Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” in 2003. The Academy even proposed adding a category for “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film” this year to recognize films that would not usually have been nominated. However, after public outcry, the Academy decided against adding the category this year.