It’s looking more and more like “Black Panther” will achieve a historic Oscar breakthrough for superhero movies. According to the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users, it will be nominated for Best Picture. That’s something “The Dark Knight” couldn’t manage to do 10 years ago. But will “Black Panther” beat “Dark Knight” in total nominations? Christopher Nolan‘s 2008 Batman drama earned eight bids and won two.
“The Dark Knight” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture despite achieving the rare combo of critical acclaim and box office success. That snub was so controversial that the academy expanded that category to 10 nominees the very next year. But even though it was shunned from the top race, “Dark Knight” was still nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects, and it won Best Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger, posthumously) and Best Sound Editing.
As of this writing our odds say “Black Panther” will do better — slightly. We’re currently predicting nominations for the film in nine categories:
Best Picture — 5th place (19/2 odds)
Best Costume Design — 2nd place (39/10 odds)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling — 2nd place (14/5 odds)
Best Production Design — 2nd place (19/5 odds)
Best Score — 3rd place (9/2 odds)
Best Song — “All the Stars,” 2nd place (4/1 odds)
Best Sound Editing — 2nd place (4/1 odds)
Best Sound Mixing — 3rd place (5/1 odds)
Best Visual Effects — 2nd place (39/10 odds)
But there’s a chance “Black Panther” could do even better than that. It’s on the bubble for nominations in five other races:
Best Director — Ryan Coogler, 9th place (30/1 odds)
Best Supporting Actor — Michael B. Jordan, 7th place (28/1 odds)
Best Adapted Screenplay — 6th place (22/1 odds)
Best Cinematography — 6th place (15/1 odds)
Best Film Editing — 7th place (20/1 odds)
If it manages nominations in all those categories too, that would bring its total for the year to 14, tying the all-time record shared by “All About Eve” (1950), “Titanic” (1997) and “La La Land” (2016). That will be a tall order, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. It has nearly that many bids (12) at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
But will “Black Panther” actually win anything? As you might have noticed above, the film is predicted to be nominated nine times, but we’re not ranking it first in any category. It’s close, though, ranked second in six races. We could be underestimating it; technically audacious films with big budgets often clean up below the line even if they don’t win Best Picture, like “Inception” (2010), “Hugo” (2011), “Gravity” (2013) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015).
How do you think “Black Panther” will do relative to “The Dark Knight”? Vote in our poll below to let us know.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.