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What Black Panther Needs To Do To Win An Oscar

Here's what Black Panther needs to do to win an Oscar. As awards season continues, Disney is still hoping to make history with their awards campaign for Marvel’s box office king, and it's beginning to look more likely they'll succeed.

The 2019 Golden Globe nominations were announced amid a flurry of anticipation, and although the majority of the nominees remained easy to predict, one Best Picture nomination stood out. In a very busy year against favored awards players like A Star is Born and BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther managed to secure a Best Motion Picture – Drama nom (as well as nods for its score and the song "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA). Following big success with various critic bodies, this is the official mark of Black Panther as a serious Oscar contender.

Related: Oscars 2019 Best Picture Predictions

2018 has proven to be a highly competitive year across the board, but even with dozens of candidates to battle for the slot, it’s very possible Marvel could make history. Here's where Black Panther's campaign for an Academy Award has got to, and what else needs to happen.

Black Panther's Oscar Campaign (So Far)

When Black Panther was released in February, it became an instant record-breaker at the box office. The film is currently the second highest grossing of 2018 worldwide, with $1.34 billion in the bank, and the first to hold the number one spot at the box office for at least five weekends since Avatar in 2009. In the US, it became only the third movie ever to pass $700 million domestically and managed to earn more than fellow Marvel behemoth Avengers: Infinity War. These statistics would be impressive enough even if the film were a critical disappointment, but it received near rapturous reviews across the board, with a 95% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Add to that its ground-breaking cultural influence and its importance as a proudly black film on this scale and it's safe to say that Black Panther was one of the undisputed cultural events of 2018.

Of course, superhero movies tend to get some sort of awards campaign. Just last year, Wonder Woman was subject to a much-discussed push from Warner Bros., although it did not receive any nominations. What a good awards campaign can do, even if your chances of winning remain slim, is draw attention to the film in question and keep it in the conversation. Just being a part of that narrative can help to shift perceptions on what counts as an awards-worthy movie. Typically, this is what is expected of those crowd-pleasing blockbusters that mount For Your Consideration campaigns, with the all-but-accepted outcome being it won’t garner any Oscar nominations beyond technical categories.

But what Disney's doing with Black Panther on this front is unique. They are not doing the bare bones marketing; the Mouse House has committed to a full-scale campaign. Their awards screeners - the DVD copies sent to critics and Academy members - are glossy, highly professional and emphasize how the film is "revolutionary". That word is taken from the cover quote by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone that adorns the screener, and it is larger than the title of the film itself. There is no Marvel or Disney logo on the cover either; the company has been savvy enough to understand that the film's chances increase when its connection to the biggest franchise on the planet are downplayed. The cast and crew of Black Panther have also been highly visible throughout the many parties, events and industry shindigs that are key to appealing to Oscar voters. Star Chadwick Boseman was even included in this year’s Best Actor roundtable held by The Hollywood Reporter. Disney is doing everything in their power to make it near impossible to ignore Black Panther’s presence as a prestigious movie.

Related: Oscars 2019: Best Actor Predictions

And so far, it’s working. On top of those Golden Globe nominations, Black Panther was included in the National Board of Review's 10 films of 2018. The Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association included it among its nominees, with focus on director Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan. It’s not unheard of for superhero movies to garner such nominations – last year, Logan became a surprise Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nominee – but never has a movie had the build-up of Black Panther. Here, a major studio is not only making a concerted effort to get their acclaimed blockbuster Oscar nominations but now, it’s looking more likely than ever, no longer a pipe dream.

Page 2 of 2: Oscars Black Panther Could Win

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Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
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