Dark Knight Makes a Billion, But Can Ledger Break New Ground?

According to The Daily Telegraph, The Dark Knight has grossed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, which makes it the world’s best performing film in 2008 and Warner Brothers’ best performing film ever. (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which brought in 976 million back in 2001 formerly held the record.)

Because normal people care a lot less about box office gold and more about gold statues, there’s more talk of whether Heath Ledger should win a posthumous Academy Award for his role as the Joker than how much money the film’s raking in. Apparently people winning Oscars from the Great Beyond is nothing novel, but from what we can tell, Ledger might stand a better chance if he was a film composer or going up in the Art Direction category. A Best Supporting Actor nominee has never posthumously won an Oscar and while nominated in consecutively for East of Eden and Giant, James Dean was passed over for a Best Actor award twice.

After the jump find a chronological list of the posthumous Academy Award winners; let us know if you think Ledger deserves a trophy for his work in the comments.

1939 – Sidney Howard, Best Writing, Gone with the Wind
1956 – Victor Young, Best Music, Around the World in Eighty Days
1958 – William A. Horning, Best Art Direction, Gigi
1959 – William A. Horning (again!), Best Art Direction, Ben Hur; Sam Zimbalist, Best Picture, Ben Hur
1960 – Eric Orborn, Best Art Direction, Spartacus
1968 – Walt Disney, Best Short Film (Animated), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day
1972 – Larry Russell and Raymond Rasch, Best Music, Limelight
1976 – Peter Finch, Best Actor, Network
1980 – Geoffrey Unsworth, Best Cinematography, Tess
1991 – Howard Ashman, Best Music, Beauty and the Beast
1992 – Thomas C. Goodwin, Best Documentary, Educating Peter
2002 – Conrad Hall, Best Cinematography, Road to Perdition