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Here’s The Top Grossing Toronto Audience Award Winners

Here's The Top Grossing Toronto Audience Award Winners

indieWIRE has a new weekend feature: A retrospective box office chart, based on a debuting indie release or a current event on the international film scene. Today, iW is taking a look at the track record of Toronto International Film Festival’s audience award, in honor of the ongoing edition of the festival (they announce this year’s audience award Sunday).

Listed below are the top 10 grossing winners of the award, which is chosen by thousands of locals who attend screenings at festival. For those currently hoping they might have a shot at this year’s prize, it suggests that winning could result in some nice numbers at the box office. Especially in comparison to a similar chart indieWIRE recently ran on the Venice Film Festival’s top prize winners. It also bodes well for their Oscar chances, with all but one of the 10 films listed nabbing best picture nominations, and four of them winning that prize.

Last year’s winner – both with the Oscars and TIFF – was Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech,” and it sits at #2 on the chart with a $135,453,143 domestic gross total, just behind another British imported Oscar winner, Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire.” Also near the top are Sam Mendes’ “American Beauty” (which would be #1 if adjusted for inflation) and Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

Here’s the overall top ten; figures are for North America only and not adjusted for inflation. Check back with indieWIRE Sunday for news on this year’s winner.

1. Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 2008) – $141,319,928
2. The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010) – $135,453,143
3. American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999) – $130,096,601
4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000) – $128,078,872
5. Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, 1981) – $58,972,904
6. Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997) – $57,247,384
7. The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, 1983) – $56,342,711
8. Precious (Lee Daniels, 2009) – $47,566,524
9. The Fisher King (Terry Gilliam, 1991) – $41,895,491
10. Shine (Scott Hicks, 1996) – $35,892,330

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An Audience Award and a Jury prize are two different things. One is an indication of the favorite film voted by a majority among the general public – and as a result has good chances of heralding a strong box office – and a Jury Award is a statement and an appreciation by a group of film experts, including film critics, based on different artistic criteria. In that sense, I am not sure I get the point in comparing Venize’ Jury prizes’ impact vs TIFF’s Audience Awards on the box office.
Comparing Cannes’ Jury prize and Venice’s Jury prize’ impact, yes, or Sundance and TIFF Audience Awards, would be relevant and make the exercice of comparison worthwhile.

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