Black Panther broke the Marvel Cinematic Universe's 10-year losing streak at the Oscars, taking home not one but three awards during Sunday's ceremony: Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Score. (Also historic: Ruth Carter and Hannah Beachler were also the first black women to win the Costume Design and Production Design categories, respectively.) And while Black Panther lost in three other categories, including Best Picture, the night was a coup to be sure, especially considering superhero movies don't often even get nominated.
The MCU particularly has had a less-than-stellar history with the academy. The only categories these films have ever scored nominations in are Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. While eight Marvel movies have been nominated in the visual effects category, none has ever won. Iron Man scored the single nomination in Best Sound Editing, but it lost out to DC and Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight. Guardians of the Galaxy got Marvel's single nomination for Best Hair and Makeup in 2016, but it also failed to take home the trophy.
Black Panther, however, not only nabbed wins in three categories, but it was nominated in previously uncharted territory for Marvel like Best Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design and Best Picture. But it seemed Black Panther's good luck failed to rub off on the other Marvel film up for accolades during this year's ceremony; Avengers: Infinity War, which was only nominated for one award, Best Visual Effects, lost out to First Man, which seems to indicate that the academy might not be changing its tune in the long run.
Black Panther was a popular juggernaut — and the highest-grossing movie of 2018 in the U.S. — that disproved biased excuses about why blockbusters like this have historically been headlined almost solely by white dudes instead of women and people of color. It crushed the box office, engaged audiences and marked a major moment in our culture — which is at least part of the reason why so many academy voters found themselves overcoming their Marvel bias to support the film.
Considering Marvel's next superhero flick, Captain Marvel, will be its first female-led film, it's possible the MCU could continue Black Panther's winning streak at next year's Oscars. That being said, Wonder Woman's complete snub at the 2018 Oscars doesn't leave us with much hope.