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Producers Guild Awards: Will it be 'Avatar'?

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After finding itself completely left out of last night’s Screen Actors Guild Award ceremony, Avatar will need to reassert its awards-season dominance at tonight’s Producers Guild Awards. In the last 20 years, the PGA honoree went on to win Best Picture 13 times, a decent 65 percent success rate. Avatar doesn’t have a cakewalk to victory tonight—with District 9 and Star Trek both in the running as well, the sci-fi-spectacle vote could be split, leading to a win for The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, or Up in the Air. But the good news for Avatar is that this prize is (as the name suggests) voted on only by producers, so there are no pesky actors or writers in the voting body to grouse about the film’s relative weak points. If Avatar loses tonight, we have a real Best Picture race on our hands. But I’m not holding my breath.

Here are the Producers Guild winners from the last 20 years. Bold type means they went on to win the Oscar; otherwise, the film in parentheses ended up stealing it away.

2009 Slumdog Millionaire

2008 No Country for Old Men

2007 Little Miss Sunshine (The Departed won Oscar)

2006 Brokeback Mountain (Crash won Oscar)

2005 The Aviator (Million Dollar Baby won Oscar)

2004 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2003 Chicago

2002 Moulin Rouge! (A Beautiful Mind won Oscar)

2001 Gladiator

2000 American Beauty

1999 Saving Private Ryan (Shakespeare in Love won Oscar)

1998 Titanic

1997 The English Patient

1996 Apollo 13 (Braveheart won Oscar)

1995 Forrest Gump

1994 Schindler’s List

1993 The Crying Game (Unforgiven won Oscar)

1992 The Silence of the Lambs

1991 Dances With Wolves

1990 Driving Miss Daisy