Kong tops Empire Awards
Peter Jackson's $270 million masterpiece was named best film of 2005, just pipping surprise Oscar-winner Crash.
Sin City, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith and War Of The Worlds were all also beaten to the night's top gong.
Collecting the prize, Andy Serkis, the star of the monster movie, joked: "This was absolutely, really needed because we were doing really badly this year and this film was made with a lot of passion and a lot of love, the script was crafted, it was a very political film and it only cost $270 million!"
Jackson, speaking via video phone, also offered a comical response, saying: "But, it doesn't say Brokeback Mountain. It says best film King Kong. You've given it to us. What insanity is this?"
The night's other awards saw Pride & Prejudice named best British film, with Crash's Thandie Newton and Johnny Depp from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory winning best actress and actor gongs.
Wallace And Gromit geniuses Steve Box and Nick Park were handed the best director prize.
<b>Full list of 2006 Empire Awards:</b>
Best film - King Kong
Best British film - Pride & Prejudice
Best actor - Johnny Depp (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Best actress - Thandie Newton (Crash)
Best director - Steve Box and Nick Park (Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit)
Best newcomer - Kelly Reilly (Mrs Henderson Presents/Pride & Prejudice)
Best scene The Birth Of Vader (Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith)
Best comedy - Team America: World Police
Best thriller - Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Best horror - The Descent
Best Sci-fi / fantasy - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
The Empire Inspiration Award - Stephen Frears
The Empire Icon Award Brian Cox
Outstanding Contribution To British Cinema Award The Harry Potter films
The Lifetime Achievement Award Tony Curtis
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