Black Panther continues to make history, nearly a year after it hit theaters. The Ryan-Coogler directed movie won the Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, making it the first time that a superhero movie has received the honor. Additionally, the Marvel Studios project is the highest grossing movie to ever win the ensemble award, having earned $1.35 billion globally. If that wasn't enough, Black Panther has also been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Black Panther was always destined to be a big movie, but not even Marvel Studios or Ryan Coogler predicted that it would go on to do what it has. Domestically, it has gone on to become the highest grossing movie of 2018 and the highest grossing superhero movie in history. The 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture makes everything more impressive and sets up pressure for the upcoming Academy Awards, which take place at the end of February.

To put things in perspective at the SAG Awards, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the previous box office winner to have received the ensemble award, having earned just over $1 billion in 2004. Last year's winner of the outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which earned $159 million worldwide. The first movie to ever get the honor was 1996's Apollo 13. Black Panther was something different than the normal superhero movie at the box office and went on to become a cultural phenomenon.

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In recent years, the Sag Awards and the Academy Awards have been giving the top prizes to the smaller specialty projects, shying away from the box office blockbusters. While a win from either of those aforementioned institutions for superhero movies isn't unprecedented, Black Panther is rising to the top of the food chain. Heath Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting actor in 2009 for his portrayal of the Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and that was huge. Normally when superhero movies win, it's for visual effects, sound editing, soundtracks, or original scores, which isn't a bad thing at all.

The Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture win for Black Panther gives many some hope that it actually has a chance at winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The movie is up against BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, Green Book, Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody, and A Star is Born, which means that there is some pretty stiff competition. Before Sunday nights' big win, the superhero movie was the clear underdog, but it appears as though the tables have turned. Marvel Studios might continue their cultural dominance with further big wins at the end of next month. You can check out Black Panther's win and the rest of 2018's winners at the SAG Awards site.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick