Oscars 2018: 'Black Panther' Joke Only Proves One Thing

The divide in cinema has never been wider.

The divide between critical acclaim and commercial success has never been greater in the film industry than at the 90th Academy Awards.

Towards the beginning of the Oscars Sunday night, host Jimmy Kimmel delivered a joke about the dismal success Best Picture nominee Call Me by Your Name had at the box office. It’s usually the case that the vast majority of people don’t see each year’s best films, and 2017 was no different. By comparison, Black Panther just crossed the threshold for $900 million at the worldwide box office, and it’s only been out for barely more than two weeks.

“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,” he said. “That’s OK.”

Kimmel noted that almost none of the Best Picture nominees even broke $100 million at the box office. It’s legitimately possible that Black Panther will gross more money at the global box office than every Best Picture-nominated film combined.

In the audience, various Black Panther cast members just grinned widely:

Kimmel’s cleverly timed joke really highlights the growing divide between what’s commercially successful and the highbrow films that usually get honored at these awards.

To its credit, Black Panther is a wonderful film and one of the MCU’s all-time greatest. Even then, it’s doubtful that it’ll even get a nomination next year at the Oscars.

Suicide Squad did miraculously win an Oscar last year, and Logan picked up a nomination this year for Best Adapted Screenplay. But other than that, superhero films don’t get much acclaim.

But, maybe the cast of Black Panther deserves an Academy Award just for looking this good:

Later in the night, Kimmel called back to his opening joke by saying that Black Panther made another $48 million a mere 40 minutes into the show. While that’s clearly an exaggeration, the fact that Black Panther is a massive success that might change the film industry as we know it remains totally true.

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