Marvel Studios film “Black Panther” made Oscars history Tuesday, landing the first best-picture nomination for a superhero movie. The movie was hailed for bringing African pride and beauty to a big-screen adventure. It is the first superhero film to feature a predominantly black cast. It received seven nominations in total.
“The academy is clearly honoring blockbuster films this year,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at measurement firm Comscore, “and is acknowledging their contributions to the art of filmmaking and thus recognizing the level of talent involved.”
“Black Panther” sold the most tickets in the United States and Canada last year, and was the second highest worldwide, with $1.3 billion in sales.
The film is set in the fictional land of Wakanda, starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan. The superhero movie also was nominated for best picture at the Golden Globes in January.
The recognition of popular films contrasted with the past few years when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the awards, favored independent dramas with small audiences and left out major commercial successes such as “Wonder Woman.”
The academy attempted to address the issue in August by proposing a new popular film category. But the idea was quickly scrapped after criticism that it would create a two-tier system of popular and less-mainstream movies.
Other box-office hits among the eight nominees for best picture include musical remake “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a movie about the rock band Queen.
The awards show will air on ABC on February 24.