Thursday, May 30, 2024

“Black Panther” Crosses $500 Mil Worldwide, But It’s Still a Comic Book Movie– No Oscars Next Year


“Black Panther” is a phenom, earning $500 million worldwide in just one week. It’s broken a lot of records and it’s been applauded and lauded for all of its many merits.

But let’s take a breath here. “Black Panther” is a comic book movie. It’s not going to be an Oscar winner in 2019.

I’ve actually done spit takes reading some of the recent prognostications about “Panther”‘s Oscar chances. I guess this comes with the hysteria of the box office, and the cultural significance of Ryan Coogler’s hit smashing all of those records.

Yes, “Panther” might get some below the line nods for effects, action, maybe even editing. But Best Picture nominee? Not happening.

We lose ourselves in the moment. But comic book and sci-fi films– no matter how deep they are– are not Academy Awards material. Maybe “Black Panther” could make the AFI Top 10 list. It will get Golden Globe nominations. But for the Academy, money speaks louder than words.

Blockbuster films that make a billion dollars- the cash is generally thought of as reward enough. It doesn’t matter if they’re black, white, or purple.

Meantime, we still have this year’s Oscars to get through. Voting is opening through Tuesday. And Best Picture seems to be wide open. I would say “Three Billboards” has the edge because it’s got the most popular acting nominees. “Dunkirk” doesn’t have a lead actor.  (Chris Nolan’s only mistake was not writing a main focus character and then casting a strong guy with name value in the role.  Harry Styles wasn’t enough.)

“The Shape of Water”? Very strong, but those actors haven’t score in their categories. “Get Out,” “Lady Bird”? Screenplay awards possible.

As far as “Black Panther” goes– let’s just enjoy its success now. And don’t put such heavy expectations on it. It’s supposed to be fun, you know!

PS “Black Panther” soundtrack sold around 80,000 copies this week– including streaming. Numbers are coming forthwith.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News