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'Hobbit' Leads Saturn Awards With Nine Nominations

"Life of Pi" and "Skyfall" followed with eight and seven noms, respectively.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The "Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Warner Bros./New Line/MGM’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey topped the Saturn Award nominations, nabbing nine of the precious slots for recognition given out by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

Fox’s Life of Pi and Sony/MGM’s Skyfall were also leading contenders, receiving eight and seven nominations, respectively.

On the TV side, Fox TV's Fringe led the nominations with six, elbowing out Showtime’s Dexter, which nabbed five. Also receiving Saturn love were AMC’s Breaking Bad, TNT’s Falling Skies and Leverage, NBC’s Revolution and AMC’s The Walking Dead, which scored four each.

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The Saturns give props to so-called “genre” movies, a term that encompasses sci-fi, fantasy, comic-book adaptations and horror films. In the Hollywood days of yore, these types of movies were given second-class status, but in the geekified pop culture of the 21st century, they are the films that often receive the most lavish attention.

Interestingly, this year saw the Saturns stretch the definition of genre to encompass prestige films like Pi, but also awards-season favorites such as Argo and Les Miserables.

“From the grand adventure of Les Miserables to the visionary fantasy of Life of Pi and the magical realism of Beasts of the Southern Wild, this year’s films transcended the notion of genre filmmaking and brought us extraordinary visions of exaggerated or enhanced reality, making this one of the most intriguing lists of Saturn Awards nominees in a long time,” said Academy president Robert Holguin.

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The nominations for best science fiction films included Marvel’s The Avengers, Fox's Chronicle, Warners’ Cloud Atlas, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games, Sony’s Looper and Fox’s Prometheus.

The best fantasy category included Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, The Hobbit, Pi, Snow White and the Huntsman, Fox Searchlight's category-stretching Ruby Sparks and Universal’s Ted.

The best horror/thriller category was also eclectic, with Argo, Sony’s Zero Dark Thirty and Summit’s The Impossible rubbing shoulders with Lionsgate’s The Cabin in the Woods and CBS Films’ The Woman in Black and Seven Psychopaths. (This diversity may speak more to the state of horror movies than anything else.)

And the titles duking it out in the action/adventure category include Universal’s The Bourne Legacy, Warners’ The Dark Knight Rises, TWC’s Django Unchained, Skyfall, Fox’s Taken 2 and -- surprise -- Miserables.

The names for best director are also eclectic. Genre heavies Peter Jackson (Hobbit), Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight) and Joss Whedon (Avengers) share the space with not only Rian Johnson (Looper) but also William Friedkin, nominated for directing Killer Joe, and Ang Lee (Pi).

The Saturns are awarded in 20 film categories, nine TV categories and four in-home entertainment categories. The awards ceremony date and location will be announced in the coming weeks.

Email: Borys.Kit@thr.com

Twitter: @Borys_Kit