'Gravity' Takes Top Prize at Australian Academy International Awards

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón), $71.17 Million

Gravity benefited strongly from the Chinese love of 3D and Imax. It was pitted head to head with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at the Chinese box office as the two Hollywood epics opened almost simultaneously, but it grossed inearly three times as much, largely because it had double the number of screenings. It's average ticket price of $6.70 was also higher than the Hunger Games sequel's $5.20.

The space drama, "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" divide the honors among them.

Alfonso Cuaron's space odyssey, Gravity, has won best film and best direction at the AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) International Awards, beating out 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips and Rush for the top prize. The awards were handed out at an intimate ceremony in Los Angeles Friday.

Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle (which was nominated in all seven categories) took away two awards each.

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Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell won best screenplay for American Hustle, and Jennifer Lawrence won best supporting actress for her role as Rosalyn, the explosively alluring and manic housewife to Christian Bale's Irving Rosenfeld.

12 Years a Slave won both men's acting categories with Chiwetel Ejiofor named best actor and Irishman Michael Fassbender taking best supporting actor.

Despite a number of Australian nominees, Cate Blanchett was the only Aussie winner, named as best actress for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.

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"The AACTA International Awards are Australia's international stamp of screen success. They recognize our international counterparts, add an Australian voice to international Academy discussion and celebrate our fellow Australians working internationally," AACTA president Geoffrey Rush said."I congratulate this year's AACTA International Award nominees and winners on their compelling and inspiring work, and as always I look forward with anticipation to see if our international peers have concurred with the AACTA International Chapter in this year's awards season selection."

The AACTA International Awards ceremony, presented in association with industry organization Australians In Film, was hosted by Rush with fellow Australian industry presenters, including Jacki Weaver, Stuart Beattie, Anthony LaPaglia and Yvonne Strahovski. It kicked off the awards season ahead of Sunday's Golden Globe Awards.

The Australian domestic AACTA Awards, with nominations led by Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, will be announced in Sydney in late January.