“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” took on the mantle of front-runner for the Oscars Saturday night as it won the highest honor for a film given by the Producers Guild of America.
Ten of the 14 previous winners of the Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Picture have gone on to win the best picture Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making it a key indicator in the battle for filmdom’s highest prize. The Oscars are on Feb. 29.
The third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy has won several major critics awards so far this year, including best film award from the New York City film critics and a best director award for Jackson from the Los Angeles critics.
The “Ring” trilogy is rapidly becoming one of the most successful works in film history with the first two installments bringing in about $1.8 billion worldwide and the third grossing about $710 million since its Christmas time opening.
In other PGA awards, “Six Feet Under” was named best TV dramatic series, “Sex and the City” the best comedy series, “My House in Umbria” best TV movie or mini-series and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” best reality or game show series.