“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) has been voted Gold Derby’s favorite Best Picture winner of the 2000s. Much like the 2004 Oscar ceremony, the final installment in Peter Jackson’s fantasy epic completely dominated our poll asking you to vote for your preferred winner of the decade, leaving all other films in the dust.
“The Return of the King” earned a massive 38% of the vote in our poll. The runner-up was “No Country for Old Men” (2007) but there was no real competition, earning 13%. Three films tied for third place at 11%, including “Chicago” (2002), “The Departed” (2007) and “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008). “Gladiator” (2000) was close behind at 8%. Far below the other winners were “Million Dollar Baby” (2004) at 4%, “The Hurt Locker” (2009) at 3% and “A Beautiful Mind” (2001) at 1%. “Crash” (2005) was the only Best Picture winner to not earn a single percentage point from our readers.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is tied with “Ben-Hur” (1959) and “Titanic” (1997) for the most Oscar wins for a film in history, at 11. Unlike the other two films, though, “The Return of the King” is the only one to completely sweep, winning every category it was nominated for. None of those nominations came from acting categories, with only Ian McKellen being nominated for “The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001) in the franchise’s history
Back in 2010 the film won the official Gold Derby Film Decade Award for Best Motion Picture released from 2000-09. Eight years later, it is clear that the love for “The Return of the King” burns as strong as ever. See all of the Best Picture Oscar winners throughout history down in our photo gallery.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in this and the other top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date odds before you make make your Oscar nomination predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.