Black Panther as a best picture Oscar nominee is a no-brainer, even Christopher Nolan seems to think so.

black panther best picture

Yes, it does seem rather silly but I do believe Marvel has its first serious Oscar contender with "Black Panther." Disney would really have to royally mess it up for this not happen.  At the very least recognition in the technical categories, especially Best Costume Design, feels like a given.

Also, it's not a coincidence that “Black Panther” was mentioned more than a few times at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony, let alone its entire main cast had VIP-worthy seats at the auditorium,  what with its box-office currently standing at $900 million worldwide et all. However, the critical acclaim is what's leading people to speculate that next year's Oscars will no doubt have 'Panther' as a Best Picture nominee. A Disney executive even admitted to Deadline that “Black Panther” will be a movie the company will push for awards consideration next season.

Christopher Nolan is a fan as well as he gave Deadline his support for “Black Panther” to be included in the Oscar race next year. There was no actual quote given in the article but Deadline says “[Nolan] predicted Black Panther will be among the Best Picture nominees in 2019.”
If “Black Panther” is nominated next year, then I will surely be in disagreement given that I had a mixed reaction to the film, but most of the film critics will most likely be doing somersaults as its 88 Metascore and 97% Rotten Tomatoes rating indicate. It would, no doubt, be a major accomplishment as no superhero movie has ever been nominated for Best Picture.
It's not like films in the past weren't buzzed as potential Best Picture contenders,  “Wonder Woman,” "Logan," and "The Dark Knight" were all touted at some point as potential nominees, however that never happened. The latter, in fact, resulted in such embarrassment for the academy that they ended up going from 5 nominees to 10 the next year.  

It's not like people aren't talking about 'Panther' and Oscar. However, for a February released film to keep its momentum until next year is not the easiest thing, but I just can't see the movie not being nominated. It's just that sure of a bet. Usually critical acclaim and record-breaking box-office success are indeed the formula for a non-brainer Oscar contender.