“Wakanda forever” indeed. “Black Panther” took home the ensemble prize at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, but that wasn’t its only honor of the night. During the red carpet pre-show, the Marvel blockbuster won stunt ensemble as well, making it the first film to win both awards.
Since the stunts category was added to the 14th SAG Awards, which aired in 2008, only one other film has been nominated in both ensemble races, “Les Miserables” (2012); it lost stunts to “Skyfall” and acting to “Argo.” Rarely are films nominated in both categories since stunts, obviously, favor big-budget flicks and action tentpoles, and those don’t typically get recognized for their acting. Past stunt ensemble winners include inaugural champ “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007), “Star Trek” (2009), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) and “Wonder Woman” (2017).
“Black Panther” defeated two of its Marvel Cinematic Universe brethren, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” along with “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” in the stunts race. In acting, it overcame “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and “A Star Is Born.” It is the third film to win the cast award without an individual acting bid after “The Full Monty” (1997) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003).
“Black Panther” definitely had an edge in both categories. Having been released last February, it’s the oldest and most widely seen — especially in the acting race — with a boffo box office, and it’s a groundbreaking cultural phenomenon. Led by Chadwick Boseman, it also had the largest ensemble of actors, with 12 eligible stars, and size matters with SAG. These awards are super friendly to populist choices that might not be that strong for the Best Picture Oscar (see: “Hidden Figures” two years ago). “Black Panther” is currently in seventh place in our Best Picture odds.
Don’t think the acting ensemble win will increase those odds that much. Since the SAG Awards’ top prize honors acting, it doesn’t have a ton of correlation with the Best Picture Oscar; only 11 of the 23 SAG winners have earned the top Oscar.