When it comes to the Academy Awards, the big question on everyone's mind appears to be if The Dark Knight will earn a nomination for Best Picture. If the Academy doesn't nominate The Dark Knight for Best Picture, then it's making a huge mistake. The ratings for the Academy Awards have been in a state of decline. Lately, Oscars tend to recognize films that very few in the movie-going public have ever seen. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that as the whole point of the Oscars is to recognize quality, which doesn't always mean mass appeal. However, just like the Academy shouldn't rule out a film because it wasn't a winner at the box office, they also shouldn't rule out a film because it's a popular comic book movie. According to numerous critics, The Dark Knight was one of the best films of the year and should be a legitimate contender for Best Picture. The Dark Knight has racked up well over a half-billion dollars at the U.S. box office, and it will almost certainly cross the billion dollar mark internationally when it is re-released in theaters in January. The Dark Knight will also continue to break records with i-Tunes and DVD sales. On the other hand, the most recent Academy Awards were the lowest rated Oscars telecast on record. History has shown that the Academy Awards do poorly when mainly small, unknown films are nominated for Best Picture and much better when blockbuster films are nominated for Best Picture. One of the more highly rated Oscar telecasts was the year when Titanic was nominated and won Best Picture. And of course, Titanic is the only other movie besides The Dark Knight to have crossed over a half-billion dollars at the U.S. box office. If the Academy doesn't nominate The Dark Knight for best picture, then there will still be more Batman sequels. However, if the Academy Awards keeps becoming more irrelevant by avoiding the nomination of well-done, popular movies, then people will continue to tune out. The reality is that the Academy Awards needs Batman more than Batman needs the Academy Awards.