'Black Panther' nabs 7 Oscar nominations, becomes first superhero movie in the running for best picture

  • "Black Panther" nabs Oscar's best picture nomination, making it the first superhero film to do so.
  • Despite its box-office prowess and critical acclaim, "Black Panther" remained an underdog heading into this year's Academy Awards season.
  • "Black Panther" was also nominated for costume design, original score, original song, production design, sound editing and sound mixing.
The entire cast of 'Black Panther' was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award, but the film did not receive an individual acting nomination from the Golden Globes. Heath Ledger as The Joker in 'The Dark Knight" is the only actor to win an Oscar for a superhero role.
Ian West - PA Images | PA Images | Getty Images
The entire cast of 'Black Panther' was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award, but the film did not receive an individual acting nomination from the Golden Globes. Heath Ledger as The Joker in 'The Dark Knight" is the only actor to win an Oscar for a superhero role.

Disney's "Black Panther" has done something no other superhero flick has ever done — nab a best picture Oscar nomination.

The superhero film directed by Ryan Coogler has been hailed as a breakthrough for representation in Hollywood and smashed box-office records last year. "Black Panther" was the top-grossing film in North America in 2018, garnering more than $700 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and north of $1.3 billion worldwide.

The movie is the ninth highest-grossing film in box-office history, and, with this nomination, becomes the third highest-grossing best picture nomination behind "Avatar" and "Titanic."

"Black Panther" was nominated alongside "BlacKkKlansman," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "The Favourite," "Green Book," "Roma," "A Star Is Born" and "Vice."

Despite its box-office prowess and critical acclaim, "Black Panther" remained an underdog heading into this year's Academy Awards season. Superhero films have long been snubbed at the Oscars. Most notably, "The Dark Knight" was shut out of the race for best picture despite receiving eight nominations and picking up two trophies.

Public backlash over the snub caused the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to expand the best picture nominee list to a maximum of 10 films in 2009, instead of the traditional five spots.

However, even in the years after Christopher Nolan's Batman flick garnered a best supporting actor win, superhero films have largely only been nominated and won awards for special effects, costuming and makeup. "Suicide Squad" picked up a best makeup win in 2017.

When "Black Panther" was released and gained box-office fame, the Academy postured that it could add a category called "outstanding achievement in popular film" to recognize movies that would not typically have been in the Oscar spotlight. In fact, a "popular" film hasn't won best picture since Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" in 2003.

Heading into the Oscar nominations Tuesday, "Black Panther" received nominations from the producers' and writers' guilds, a Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination for its ensemble, and even a nomination for best motion picture in the drama category at the Golden Globes.

Last year, "Logan," a James Mangold film about about X-Men's Wolverine, was nominated for best adapted screenplay at the Oscars, the first superhero film to ever crack that category. However, "Wonder Woman," which was praised by critics and audiences alike, was not nominated.

These nods show the stigma surrounding superhero films is dissipating, though not completely gone.

"Black Panther" was also nominated for costume design, original score, original song, production design, sound editing and sound mixing.