The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards presented annually since the awards debuted in 1929, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). This award goes to the producers of the film and is the only category in which every member is eligible to submit a nomination and vote on the final ballot. The actors or actresses in the film will not accept this award unless he or she produced the film.
Best Picture is considered the premier award of the Academy Awards, as it represents all the directing, acting, music composing, writing, editing, and other efforts put forth into a film production. Since 1973, it is the final award presented at the ceremony and a drum roll was used when the winner is announced.
The Grand Staircase columns at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where the Academy Awards ceremonies have been held since 2002, showcase every film that has won the Best Picture title since the award's inception. As of 2017, there have been 537 films nominated for Best Picture and 89 winners.
Category name changes
At the 1st Academy Awards ceremony (for 1927 and 1928), there were two categories of awards that were each considered the top award of the night: Outstanding Picture and Unique and Artistic Picture, the previous being won by the war epic Wings, and the latter by the art film Sunrise. Each award was intended to honor different and equally important aspects of superior filmmaking.
The following year, the Academy dropped the Unique and Artistic Picture award, and decided retroactively that the award won by Wings was the highest honor that could be awarded. Though the award kept the title Outstanding Picture for the next ceremony, the name underwent several changes over the years as seen below. Since 1962 it has been called the Best Picture award.
- 1927/28–1928/29: Academy Award for Outstanding Picture
- 1929/30–1940: Academy Award for Outstanding Production
- 1941–1943: Academy Award for Outstanding Motion Picture
- 1944–1961: Academy Award for Best Motion Picture
- 1962–present: Academy Award for Best Picture
Until 1950, this award was presented to a representative of the production company. That year the protocol was changed so that the award was presented to all credited producers. This rule was modified in 1998 to apply a limit of three producers receiving the award, after the five producers of Shakespeare in Love had received the award.
As of 2014
, the "Special Rules for the Best Picture of the Year Award" limit recipients to those who meet two main requirements:
- Those with screen credit of "producer" or "produced by"
- those three or fewer producers who have performed the major portion of the producing functions
The rules permit "bona fide team[s] of not more than two people to be considered to be a single 'producer' if the two individuals have had an established producing partnership for at least the previous five years and as a producing team have produced a minimum of five theatrically released feature motion pictures during that time.
The Academy can make exceptions to the limit, as when the late Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack were posthumously included among the four producers nominated for The Reader. As of 2014 the Producers Branch Executive Committee determines such exceptions, noting they take place only in "rare and extraordinary circumstance[s]."
Best Picture and Best Director
The Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director have been closely linked throughout their history. Of the 89 films that have been awarded Best Picture, 62 have also been awarded Best Director. Only four films have won Best Picture without their directors being nominated: Wings (1927/28), Grand Hotel (1931/32), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), and Argo (2012). The only two Best Director winners to win for films that did not receive a Best Picture nomination were during the early years of the awards: Lewis Milestone for Two Arabian Knights (1927/28), and Frank Lloyd for The Divine Lady (1928/29).
Nomination limit increased
On June 24, 2009, AMPAS announced that the number of films to be nominated in the Best Picture award category would increase from five to ten, starting with the 82nd Academy Awards (2009). The expansion was a throwback to the Academy's early years in the 1930s and 1940s, when eight to twelve films were nominated each year. "Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going to allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize," AMPAS President Sid Ganis said in a press conference. "I can't wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February."
At the same time, the voting system was switched from first-past-the-post to instant runoff voting (also known as preferential voting). Two years after this change, the Academy revised the rule again so that the number of films nominated was between 5 and 10; nominated films must earn either 5% of first-place rankings or 5% after an abbreviated variation of the single transferable vote nominating process. Bruce Davis, the Academy executive director at the time, said, "A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn't feel an obligation to round out the number."
The award is not without controversy. One point of contention is the lack of consideration of non-English language films for Best Picture. To date, only nine foreign language films have been nominated in the category: Grand Illusion (French, 1938); Z (French, 1969); The Emigrants (Swedish, 1972); Cries and Whispers (Swedish, 1973); Il Postino: The Postman (Italian/Spanish, 1995); Life Is Beautiful (Italian, 1998); Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Mandarin Chinese, 2000); Letters from Iwo Jima (Japanese, 2006, but ineligible for Best Foreign Language Film, as it was an American production); and Amour (French, 2012). Similarly, the award rarely goes to films produced by non-U.S. studios; only 14 films partly or wholly financed outside the United States have won Best Picture, 13 of which were financed, in part or in whole, by the United Kingdom. Those films were, in chronological order: Hamlet (1948), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Tom Jones (1963), A Man for All Seasons (1966), Oliver! (1968), Chariots of Fire (1981), Gandhi (1982), The Last Emperor (1987), The English Patient (1996), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and The King's Speech (2010). The fourteenth film, The Artist, (2011) was financed in France.
Other points of contention include genres of film that have received few or no nominations or awards. Only three animated films have been nominated—Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991), Disney-Pixar's Up (2009) and Toy Story 3 (2010), the latter two having been nominated after the Academy expanded the number of nominees—but none have won. No science fiction film or superhero film has won (none of the latter has been nominated; though Birdman, which won in 2015, is about an actor who played a superhero and fantasizes about becoming/becomes one, depending on audience interpretation); only one fantasy film has won (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003). Horror films have also been notably absent. The most recent one to have been nominated was The Sixth Sense in 1999 and the last to win was The Silence of the Lambs, in 1991. No documentary (eligible in a separate category) has been nominated for Best Picture. This excludes Chang, which was nominated in the "Unique and Artistic Production" category at the 1927/28 awards.
In 2017, at the 89th Academy Awards, presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty read La La Land as the winner of the award. However, they had mistakenly been given the "Best Actress in a Leading Role" envelope, for which Emma Stone had won for her role in La La Land moments prior. When the mistake was realized, the show's producers rushed onstage to correct it; in the resulting chaos, it was La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz who finally announced that Moonlight was the real winner.
Sequel nominations and winners
Few sequels have been nominated for Best Picture; two have won: The Godfather Part II and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Other nominees include The Bells of St. Mary's, The Godfather Part III, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Toy Story 3, and Mad Max: Fury Road.
Another nominee, Broadway Melody of 1936, was a follow-up of sorts to previous winner The Broadway Melody. But, beyond the title and some music, there is no story connection to the earlier film. The Silence of the Lambs was adapted from the sequel novel to Red Dragon. The latter had been adapted for film as Manhunter by a different studio. Best Picture nominee The Lion in Winter features Peter O'Toole as King Henry II, a role he had played previously in the film Becket. But Winter is not a sequel to Becket. Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima was a companion piece to his film Flags of Our Fathers, released earlier the same year. These two films depict the same battle from the different viewpoints of Japanese and United States military forces; the two films were shot back-to-back.
Notably, the only remake to win this category is The Departed. Mutiny on the Bounty and Ben-Hur were inspired and influenced by previous films of the same name; but they were considered to be distinctly different adaptations of the original novels. Best Picture winner My Fair Lady was a musical version of George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion. It had previously been adapted for film as Pygmalion, which was nominated for Best Picture in 1938.
Silent film winners
||This article appears to contradict another article. (July 2014)
The Artist (with the exception of a single scene of dialogue, and dream sequence with sound effects) was the first silent film since Wings to win Best Picture. It was the first silent nominee since The Patriot. It was the first Best Picture winner to be shot entirely in black-and-white since 1960's The Apartment. (Note: Schindler's List, the 1993 winner, was predominantly black-and-white but it did contain some color sequences).
No Best Picture winner has been lost, though a few such as All Quiet on the Western Front and Lawrence of Arabia exist only in a form altered from their original, award-winning release form. This has usually been due to editing for reissue (and subsequently partly restored by archivists). Other winners and nominees, such as Tom Jones and Star Wars, are widely available only in subsequently altered versions. The Broadway Melody originally had some sequences photographed in two-color Technicolor. This footage survives only in black and white.
The 1928 film The Patriot is the only Best Picture nominee that is lost. The Racket, also from 1928, was believed lost for many years until a print was found in Howard Hughes' archives. It has since been restored and shown on Turner Classic Movies. The only surviving complete prints of 1931's East Lynne and 1934's The White Parade exist within the UCLA film archive.
Winners and nominees
In the list below, winners are listed first in the colored row, followed by the other nominees. Except for the early years (when the Academy used a non-calendar year), the year shown is the one in which the film first premiered in Los Angeles County, California; normally this is also the year of first release, however, it may be the year after first release (as with Casablanca and, if the film-festival premiere is considered, Crash). This is also the year before the ceremony at which the award is given; for example, a film exhibited theatrically during 2005 was eligible for consideration for the 2005 Best Picture Oscar, awarded in 2006. The number of the ceremony (1st, 2nd, etc.) appears in parentheses after the awards year, linked to the article on that ceremony. Each individual entry shows the title followed by the production company, and the producer.
Until 1950, the Best Picture award was given to the production company; from 1951 on, it has gone to the producer or producers. The Academy used the producer credits of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) until 1998, when all five producers of Shakespeare in Love made speeches after its win. A three-producer limit has been applied some years since. There was controversy over the exclusion of some PGA-credited producers of Crash and Little Miss Sunshine. The Academy can make exceptions to the limit, as when Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack were posthumously among the four nominated for The Reader. However, now any producer on a film is nominated for Best Picture, so the limit of producer nominees is completely dropped.
For the first ceremony, three films were nominated for the award. For the following three years, five films were nominated for the award. This was expanded to eight in 1933, to ten in 1934, and to twelve in 1935, before being dropped back to ten in 1937. In 1945 it was further reduced to five. This number remained until 2009, when the limit was raised to ten and later adjusted in 2011, to vary between five and ten.
For the first six ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned two calendar years. For example, the 2nd Academy Awards presented on April 3, 1930, recognized films that were released between August 1, 1928, and July 31, 1929. Starting with the 7th Academy Awards, held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31.
indicates the winner
||Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Icon
||Mel Gibson, Alan Ladd Jr. and Bruce Davey
||Universal, Imagine Entertainment
||Universal, Kennedy Miller Productions
||Bill Miller, George Miller and Doug Mitchell
|Il Postino: The Postman [K]
||Miramax, Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica, Esterno Mediterraneo Film, Blue Dahlia, Penta Film
||Mario Cecchi Gori, Vittorio Cecchi Gori and Gaetano Daniele
|Sense and Sensibility
|Shakespeare in Love
||Miramax, Universal, Bedford Falls Company
||David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick and Marc Norman
||PolyGram, Working Title
||Alison Owen, Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan
|Life Is Beautiful [K]
||Miramax, Melampo Cinematografica, Pacific Pictures
||Elda Ferri and Gianluigi Braschi
|Saving Private Ryan
||DreamWorks, Paramount, Amblin Entertainment
||Steven Spielberg, Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon and Gary Levinsohn
|The Thin Red Line
||20th Century Fox
||Robert Michael Geisler, John Roberdeau and Grant Hill
||DreamWorks, Universal, Scott Free Productions
||Douglas Wick, David Franzoni and Branko Lustig
||David Brown, Kit Golden and Leslie Holleran
|Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [K]
||Sony Pictures Classics
||William Kong, Hsu Li-kong and Ang Lee
||Universal, Columbia, Jersey Films
||Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher
||Universal, USA, Bedford Falls Company
||Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz and Laura Bickford
|A Beautiful Mind
||DreamWorks, Universal, Imagine Entertainment
||Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
||USA, Sandcastle 5 Productions, Zestwick
||Robert Altman, Bob Balaban and David Levy
|In the Bedroom
||Miramax, Good Machine
||Graham Leader, Ross Katz, and Todd Field
|The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
||New Line Cinema, WingNut Films
||Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Barrie M. Osborne
||20th Century Fox, Bazmark
||Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann and Fred Baron
||Miramax, Producer Circle Co., Storyline Entertainment
|Gangs of New York
||Alberto Grimaldi and Harvey Weinstein
||Paramount, Miramax, Scott Rudin Productions
||Scott Rudin and Robert Fox
|The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
||New Line Cinema, WingNut Films
||Barrie M. Osborne, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson
||Focus Features, RP Productions, Heritage Films, Babelsberg Studios, Runteam
||Roman Polanski, Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde
|The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
||New Line Cinema, WingNut Films
||Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
|Lost in Translation
||Focus Features, American Zoetrope
||Ross Katz and Sofia Coppola
|Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
||20th Century Fox, Miramax, Universal, Samuel Goldwyn Films
||Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Peter Weir and Duncan Henderson
||Warner Bros.,Village Roadshow Pictures, Malpaso
||Robert Lorenz, Judie G. Hoyt and Clint Eastwood
||DreamWorks, Universal, Spyglass Entertainment, Kennedy/Marshall Productions
||Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Gary Ross
|Million Dollar Baby
||Warner Bros., Lakeshore Entertainment, Malpaso
||Clint Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy and Tom Rosenberg
||Warner Bros., Miramax, Forward Pass, Appian Way
||Michael Mann and Graham King
||Richard N. Gladstein and Nellie Bellflower
||Universal, Bristol Bay Productions, Anvil Films
||Taylor Hackford, Stuart Benjamin and Howard Baldwin
||Lionsgate, BlackFriar's Bridge, Harris Company, ApolloProScreen
||Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman
||Focus Features, River Road Entertainment
||Diana Ossana and James Schamus
||Sony Pictures Classics, United Artists, A-Line Pictures, Cooper's Town Productions, Infinity Media
||Caroline Baron, William Vince and Michael Ohoven
|Good Night, and Good Luck
||Warner Independent, Section Eight Productions, 2929 Entertainment
||DreamWorks, Universal, Amblin Entertainment, Kennedy/Marshall Productions
||Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Barry Mendel
||Warner Bros., Plan B Pictures, Initial Entertainment Group, Vertigo Entertainment
||Paramount Vantage, Anonymous Content, Zeta Film
||Alejandro González Iñárritu, Steve Golin and Jon Kilik
|Letters from Iwo Jima [K]
||DreamWorks, Warner Bros., Malpaso, Amblin Entertainment
||Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz
|Little Miss Sunshine
||Fox Searchlight, Big Beach, Deep River Productions
||David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub
||Miramax, Granada Productions
||Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward
|No Country for Old Men
||Paramount Vantage, Miramax, Mike Zoss Productions
||Scott Rudin, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
||Focus Features, Working Title
||Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster
||Fox Searchlight, Mr. Mudd
||Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith
||Warner Bros., Castle Rock Entertainment, Section Eight Productions, Mirage Enterprises
||Jennifer Fox, Kerry Orent and Sydney Pollack
|There Will Be Blood
||Paramount Vantage, Miramax
||Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Lupi and JoAnne Sellar
|Slumdog Millionaire [O]
||Fox Searchlight, Warner Bros., Celador, Film4
|The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
||Paramount, Warner Bros., Kennedy/Marshall Productions
||Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin
||Universal, Imagine Entertainment, Working Title
||Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Eric Fellner
||Focus Features, Jinks/Cohen Co., Groundswell
||Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks
||The Weinstein Co., Mirage, Neunte Babelsberg Film
||Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti and Redmond Morris
|The Hurt Locker
||Summit Entertainment, Voltage Pictures, First Light Productions, Kingsgate Films
||Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro
||20th Century Fox, Lightstorm Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Ingenious Media
||James Cameron and Jon Landau
|The Blind Side
||Warner Bros., Alcon Entertainment
||Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson
||Tristar, WingNut Films
||Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham
||Sony Pictures Classics, Finola Dwyer Productions, Wildgaze Films
||Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey
||The Weinstein Co., Universal, Band Apart, Zehnte Babelsberg Film
|Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
||Lionsgate, Lee Daniels Entertainment, Smokewood Entertainment
||Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness
|A Serious Man
||Focus Features, Working Title, Mike Zoss Productions
||Joel Coen and Coen brothers|Ethan Coen]]
|Up in the Air
||Paramount, The Montecito Picture Company
||Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman
|The King's Speech
||The Weinstein Co., Momentum Pictures, UK Film Council, See-Saw Films, Bedlam Productions
||Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin
||Fox Searchlight, Pathé, Dune Entertainment, Everest Entertainment
||Danny Boyle, John Smithson and Christian Colson
||Fox Searchlight, Dune Entertainment, Cross Creek Pictures, Phoenix Pictures
||Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy and Brian Oliver
||Paramount, The Weinstein Co., Mandeville Films
||David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg
||Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, Syncopy
||Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas
|The Kids Are All Right
||Focus Features, Gilbert Films
||Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray
|The Social Network
||Columbia, Scott Rudin Productions, Trigger Street Productions
||Dana Brunetti, Ceán Chaffin, Michael De Luca and Scott Rudin
|Toy Story 3
||Darla K. Anderson
||Paramount, Skydance Media, Mike Zoss Productions
||Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, and Scott Rudin
||Roadside Attractions, Anonymous Content, Winter's Bone Productions
||Alix Madigan and Anne Rosellini
||The Weinstein Co., La Petite Reine, ARP Sélection, Studio 37, La Classe Américaine, France 3 Cinema, U Film, Jouror Productions, JD Prod, Wild Bunch
||Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
|Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
||Warner Bros., Scott Rudin Productions
||DreamWorks, Touchstone, Participant Media, Imageation Abu Dahbi
||Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan
||Paramount, GK Films, Infinitum Nihil
||Graham King and Martin Scorsese
|Midnight in Paris
||Sony Pictures Classics, Gravier, Mediapro, Pontchartrain, Versatil
||Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum
||Columbia, Scott Rudin Productions, Michael De Luca Productions
||Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt
|The Tree of Life
||Fox Searchlight, River Road Entertainment
||Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill
||DreamWorks, Touchstone, Amblin Entertainment, Kennedy/Marshall Company
||Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy
||Warner Bros., GK Films, Smoke House Pictures
||Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney
||Sony Pictures Classics, Les Films du Losange, X Filme Creative Pool, Wega Film Production
||Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz
|Beasts of the Southern Wild
||Fox Searchlight, Cinereach
||Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald
||The Weinstein Co., Columbia, Band Apart
||Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone
||Universal, Working Title, Cameron Mackintosh Limited
||Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh
|Life of Pi
||20th Century Fox, Dune Entertainment, Ingenious Media, Haishang Films
||Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark
||DreamWorks, Touchstone, 20th Century Fox, Amblin Entertainment, Participant, Kennedy/Marshall Company
||Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy
|Silver Linings Playbook
||The Weinstein Co.
||Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon
|Zero Dark Thirty
||Columbia, Annapurna Pictures
||Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison
|12 Years a Slave
||Fox Searchlight, Regency Enterprises, River Road Entertainment, Plan B Entertainment, New Regency, Film4 Productions
||Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas
||Columbia, Atlas Entertainment, Annapurna Pictures
||Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon
||Columbia, Michael De Luca Productions, Scott Rudin Productions, Trigger Street
||Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca
|Dallas Buyers Club
||Focus Features, Truth Entertainment, Voltage Pictures
||Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter
||Warner Bros., Esperanto Filmoj, Heyday Films
||Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman
||Warner Bros., Entertainment Film Distributors, Annapurna Pictures
||Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay
||Paramount Vantage, Echo Lake Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment
||Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa
||The Weinstein Co., Pathé, BBC Films, British Film Institute, Canal+, Cine+, Baby Cow Productions, Magnolia Mae Films
||Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward
|The Wolf of Wall Street
||Paramount, Red Granite Pictures, Appian Way Productions, Sikelia Productions, Emjag Productions
||Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
|Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
||Fox Searchlight, Regency Enterprises, Worldview Entertainment
||Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole
||Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Mad Chance Productions, 22nd and Indiana Pictures, Malpaso
||Clint Eastwood, Andrew Lazar, Robert Lorenz, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan
||IFC, Detour Filmproduction
||Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland
|The Grand Budapest Hotel
||Fox Searchlight, American Empirical Pictures, Indian Paintbrush, Babelsberg Studio
||Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales and Jeremy Dawson
|The Imitation Game
||The Weinstein Co., Black Bear Pictures, Bristol Automotive
||Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman
||Paramount, Pathé, Cloud Eight Films, Plan B Entertainment, Harpo Films
||Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner
|The Theory of Everything
||Focus Features, Working Title
||Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten
||Sony Pictures Classics, Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions, Right of Way Films
||Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster
||Open Road, Anonymous Content, First Look Media, Participant Media, Rocklin/Faust
||Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Michael Sugar
|The Big Short
||Paramount, Regency Enterprises, Plan B Entertainment
||Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Brad Pitt
|Bridge of Spies
||DreamWorks, Touchstone, 20th Century Fox, TSG Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, Participant Media, Afterworks Limited, Studio Babelsberg, Marc Platt Productions
||Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger
||Fox Searchlight, BFI, BBC Films, Wildgaze Films, Irish Film Board, Parallel Film Productions, Item 7
||Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey
|Mad Max: Fury Road
||Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, RatPac-Dune Entertainment
||Doug Mitchell and George Miller
||20th Century Fox, TSG Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Kinberg Genre
||Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam
||20th Century Fox, Anonymous Content, Appian Way Productions, M Productions, New Regency Pictures, RatPac Entertainment
||Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon
||A24, TG4 Films, Nope Films, Mauvais Plan, Inc., CampTrace Entertainment, Lester Productions
||A24, Plan B Entertainment, Pastel Productions
||Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner
||Paramount, Lava Bear Films, 21 Laps Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment
||Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde
||Paramount, Bron Studios, Macro Media, Scott Rudin Productions
||Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black
||Summit Entertainment, Pandemonium Films, Permut Productions, Vendian Entertainment
||Bill Mechanic and David Permut
|Hell or High Water
||CBS, Lionsgate, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, OddLot Entertainment, Film 44, LBI Entertainment
||Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn
||20th Century Fox, TSG Entertainment, Chernin Entertainment, Levantine Films
||Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi
|La La Land
||Summit Entertainment, Black Label Media, TIK Films Limited, Impostor Pictures, Gilbert Films, Marc Platt Productions
||Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt
||The Weinstein Co., Transmission Films, Entertainment Film Distributors
||Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder
|Manchester by the Sea
||Amazon, Roadside Attractions, K Period Media, B Story, CMP, Pearl Street Films
||Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh
- A : The official name of the award from 1927/28 to 1928/29 was Outstanding Picture.
- B : The official name of the award from 1929/30 to 1940 was Outstanding Production.
- C : The official name of the award from 1941 to 1943 was Outstanding Motion Picture.
- D : The official name of the award from 1944 to 1961 was Best Motion Picture.
- E : The official name of the award since 1962 has been Best Picture.
- F : There were two categories that were seen as equally the top award at the time: "Outstanding Picture" and Unique and Artistic Production where the winner for the latter was Sunrise (production company: Fox; producer: William Fox). This category was dropped immediately after the first year of the Academy Award and the former category was retroactively seen as the top award.
- G1 2 3 4 5 : Head of studio
- H1 2 3 : The Academy also announced that A Farewell to Arms came in second, and Little Women third.
- I1 2 3 : The Academy also announced that The Barretts of Wimpole Street came in second, and The House of Rothschild third.
- J1 2 3 : The Academy also announced that The Informer came in second, and Captain Blood third.
- K1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : Nominated motion picture with non-English dialogue track (AMPAS: foreign language film). Four of which – Z; Life is Beautiful; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; and Amour – won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
- L : Production company with the most nominations (38) and the most awards (5). Applying only from 1927/1928 to 1950.
- M : Person with the most nominations (8 nominations, 0 awards). Applying only from 1951 to 2012.
- N : Person with the most awards (3 awards, Spiegel 4 nominations, Zaentz 3 nominations). Applying only from 1951 to 2008.
- O1 2 3 : Winner with partly non-English dialogue track (AMPAS: foreign language).
- ^ "The Oscars home is now the Dolby Theatre". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- ^ a b c "Academy Awards Database – Best Picture Winners and Nominees". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- ^ "Why SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS is Essential". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- ^ a b "Who gets the Oscar?". Sydney Morning Herald. Associated Press. February 4, 2005. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- ^ a b c "Academy restricts Oscar winners". BBC. June 26, 2001. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- ^ a b c McNary, Dave (January 21, 2008). "PGA avoids credit limit". Variety.
- ^ a b c "Rule Sixteen: Special Rules for the Best Picture of the Year Award". Rules for the 86th Academy Awards. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
- ^ a b Yamato, Jen (January 27, 2009). "Academy Makes Exceptions for Pollack, Minghella Does this mean more Oscar sympathy for surprise nominee The Reader?". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on October 27, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- ^ "Best Director Facts – Trivia (Part 2)". Filmsite. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- ^ a b Joyce Eng (24 June 2009). "Oscar Expands Best Picture Race to 10 Nominees". TV Guide Online. Archived from the original on 8 December 2012. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- ^ Poll: Vote on the Oscars Like an Academy Member, Rob Richie, Huffington Post, 16 February 2011
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