‘Black Pan­ther’ poised to be­come an Os­cars heavy­weight

Record-set­ting block­buster is ex­pected to con­tend for sev­eral top awards

The Progress-Index - - AMUSEMENTS -

NEW YORK — “Black Pan­ther” has, in a way, al­ready been to the Os­cars.

Much of the film’s cast was ea­gerly high­lighted at March’s cer­e­mony: a wel­come splash of block­buster lus­ter at an Academy Awards that largely lacked it. “Black Pan­ther” had at the time al­ready been in the­aters for a few weeks, lead­ing host Jimmy Kim­mel to note:

“This is a night for pos­i­tiv­ity and our plan is to shine a light on a group of out­stand­ing and in­spir­ing films, each and ev­ery one of which got crushed by ‘Black Pan­ther’ this week­end,” said Kim­mel while much of the au­di­ence ei­ther laughed or winced. (On Os­car Sun­day alone, “Black Pan­ther” grossed $19.9 mil­lion.)

As Hol­ly­wood’s awards sea­son prop­erly gets un­der way, “Black Pan­ther” is poised to re­turn to the Academy Awards, but this time as a nom­i­nee — and po­ten­tially a ma­jor one. Ryan Coogler’s su­per­hero sen­sa­tion has al­ready notched count­less records, pul­ver­ized box-of­fice myths and set new marks for in­clu­siv­ity. And now, “Black Pan­ther” is in line to shat­ter Os­car norms, too.

All of this year’s con­tenders have by now screened, and Os­car prog­nos­ti­ca­tors gen­er­ally have “Black Pan­ther” in, com­fort­ably, as a best pic­ture nom­i­nee. Both the pun­dit sur­vey “Gu­rus of Gold” and Hol­ly­wood Re­porter awards an­a­lyst Scott Fein­berg place “Black Pan­ther” fifth, be­hind front-run­ners “A Star Is Born,” ‘’Roma,” ‘’Green Book” and “The Favourite.” Gold Derby slots “Black Pan­ther” in at No. 7, still eas­ily within the cat­e­gory’s range of up to 10 nom­i­nees.

Much is still in flux in the Os­car race ahead of Thurs­day morn­ing’s Golden Globes nom­i­na­tions. But un­less some­thing dras­tic hap­pens, “Black Pan­ther” will next month be­come the first comic book film to be nom­i­nated for best pic­ture and eas­ily Mar­vel Stu­dios’ most sig­nif­i­cant Os­car con­tender ever.

That’s very good news for ABC’s Feb. 24 tele­cast which is com­ing off an all­time low of 26.5 mil­lion view­ers. Some 55.2 mil­lion watched “Ti­tanic” sweep the 1997 Os­cars, and pro­duc­ers have long har­bored dreams of an­other big-tent block­buster pulling view­ers to a broad­cast in­creas­ingly dom­i­nated by in­de­pen­dent films like “The Shape of Wa­ter,” ‘‘Moon­light” and “Spot­light.” Usu­ally, big­ger movies mean big­ger rat­ings.

For the mak­ers of “Black Pan­ther,” it’s a new chap­ter for a film — with more than $1.3 bil­lion in ticket sales, the third-high­est all-time do­mes­tic gross and the big­gest box-of­fice hit ever di­rected by a black man — that has al­ready filled record books. What does Coogler think of “Black Pan­ther” as an Os­car movie?

“For­tu­nately, I don’t have to think about it that much,” the 32-year-old film­maker of “Fruit­vale Sta­tion” and “Creed” said in an in­ter­view. “I’ve grown to have close re­la­tion­ships with my col­lab­o­ra­tors, so I care about the crafts peo­ple who work on the film and the ac­tors who work on the film. Be­cause of those re­la­tion­ships, I’m happy when they’re happy. It’s al­ways nice when peo­ple are rec­og­nized for their work. But be­yond that, I re­ally don’t worry about it.”

[MAR­VEL STU­DIOS/DIS­NEY VIA AP]

This image re­leased by Dis­ney and Mar­vel Stu­dios’ shows Chad­wick Bose­man in a scene from “Black Pan­ther.” As Hol­ly­wood’s awards sea­son prop­erly gets un­der way, “Black Pan­ther” is poised to be the first comic book film to be nom­i­nated for best pic­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.