Opting for a mix of specialty and studio titles, the Producers Guild of America has selected "12 Years a Slave," "American Hustle," "Blue Jasmine," "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "Her," "Nebraska," "Saving Mr. Banks" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" as nominees for its Darryl F. Zanuck award.
The winner will be announced Jan. 19 at PGA's 25th anniversary awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel following voting by the PGA's 6,000 members. The guild decided in 2011 to stick to 10 nominees for its top feature award rather than follow the revised voting procedures of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Lone Survivor," "Philomena" and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."
Of the 10 nominees, Warner Bros.' "Gravity" is by far the biggest box office grosser, with more than $650 million worldwide. Sony's "Captain Phillips" is the leader among the other nine with $208 million worldwide.
The PGA's Zanuck award has become a strong indicator of Oscar sentiment in recent years, matching the Oscar for best picture in 17 of its 24 years -- including the last six, with "Argo," "The Artist," "The King's Speech," "The Hurt Locker," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "No Country for Old Men." The PGA winner last diverged from the Oscar best picture for the 2006 award when "Little Miss Sunshine" won while the Academy opted for "The Departed."
The match between PGA nominations and Oscar Best Picture nominees has been about 80%. Eight of the 10 PGA nominees received Oscar nod last year; "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Skyfall" were nommed by the PGA but neither received an Oscar nod while the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences included one non-PGA selection in "Amour" among its nine nominations.
The producers branch of AMPAS has about 8% of the voting membership.
The Zanuck award noms listed a total of 29 producers including notables such as Megan Ellison and Charles Roven for "American Hustle," Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum for "Blue Jasmine," Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Scott Rudin for "Captain Phillips," Alfonso Cuaron and David Heyman for "Gravity," Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa for "Nebraska" and Brad Pitt for "12 Years a Slave."
Pitt is one of five producers on "Slave" along with Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, director Steve McQueen and Pitt's longtime producing partner Dede Gardner.
Seven PGA films have been listed in the AFI's Top Ten and been nominated for a Golden Globe: "12 Years a Slave," "American Hustle,""Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "Her," "Nebraska" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." SAG ensemble nominations matched the PGA nods for only "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" with the other SAG selections going to "Lee Daniels' The Butler," "Dallas Buyers Club" and "August: Osage County."
Disney scored a pair of nods for the PGA's animation awards with "Frozen" and "Monsters University" with the other nominations going to DreamWorks' "The Croods," Universal's "Despicable Me 2" and Fox's "Epic."
The next major awards announcement comes Friday with the Writers Guild of America disclosing its screenplay nominees. The Directors Guild of America follows on Jan. 7 with its five feature film nominations.
The PGA had previously announced its feature documentary nominations along with most of its TV series awards. The guild announced five longform TV candidates on Thursday for its David L. Wolper award -- FX's "American Horror Story: Asylum," HBO's "Behind the Candelabra," National Geographic Channel's "Killing Kennedy," HBO's "Phil Spector" and Sundance Channel's "Top of the Lake."
The complete list of honorees is below.
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Megan Ellison, Jon Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum