British director Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire has earned a Best Picture nomination from the Producers Guild of America, putting the acclaimed film on track to be a major contender at next month's Academy Awards.
Coming a day after the film jumped back into the North American Top 10 with total gross earnings of $28.78 million in eight weeks, the PGA nomination is considered particularly important since generally most of the five nominated films go on to also earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
Last year, 4 of the 5 PGA nominees also scored Academy Award nods for Best Picture. The PGA will announce its winner Jan 24.
Shot in Mumbai, the film tells the heart warming story of an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who goes on to win a staggering 20 million rupees on India's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? game show.
Now in its eighth weekend of release in the US, the award-winning film has seen its weekend gross increase every single week.
Running in 612 theatres across US, the film registered a weekend gross of $4,770,000 over the Jan 2-4 weekend, up 11 percent from last weekend. Its per-theatre average of $7,794 was the best among all films in the Top 10.
In addition to its many accolades, Slumdog Millionaire also won the Best Cinematography award from the National Society of Film Critics as well as nominations for Best Film and Best Director from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle.
Noted Indian music director A.R. Rahman has won a Golden Globe nomination from Hollywood Foreign Press Association and a Satellite Award by the International Press Academy for Best Original Score for his music in the film.
The film has also earned three other nominations for Best Picture-Drama, Best Director for Boyle and Best Screenplay for Simon Beaufoy for 2008 Golden Globe Awards besides two more annual Satellite Awards for Best Picture-Drama and Best Director for Boyle.
British Indian actor Dev Patel, who plays the protagonist Jamal as a teenager, has won a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a male actor in a supporting role from the Screen Actors Guild Awards along with nominations for Outstanding Performance by a cast in a motion picture.
Slumdog Millionaire has also tied with WALL.E, a computer-animated-science fiction-romance film, for the Best Picture award from the Boston Society of Film Critics, besides winning the Best Editing prize.
Earlier, Slumdog Millionaire won two awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association - Best Director for Boyle and Best Music for Rahman. It also won the runner-up prize for Best Cinematography for Anthony Dod Mantle.
The film has also won the Best Cinematography prize from The New York Film Critics' Circle and earned six Critics Choice Award nominations for Picture, Director (Boyle), Writer (Beaufoy), Young Actor (Dev Patel), Composer (Rahman), and Song (Jai Ho).
It has earned six nominations including British Film, Director, British Director, British Actor (Patel), Young British Performer (Patel), and Screenwriter from the London Critics' Circle Film Awards.
The film has won the Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Most Promising Performer (Patel) award from the Chicago Film Critics Association.
It has also won Best Picture and Best Director awards from the Detroit Film Critics Society and Florida Film Critics Circle. The latter has also given it an award for Best Screenplay.