Special Report

The Movies That Won the Most Oscars

Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images North America

To be nominated for an Oscar is an honor. But let’s be honest: Winning is a lot more fun and a lot more satisfying.

So much goes into making a film, from top-notch acting and script-writing to set design and special effects. While the final product may look effortless on screen, a great movie weaves imaginative storytelling with technical proficiency to leave audiences spellbound. When all those elements come together in one film, it is often rewarded with multiple Oscars and takes its place as a true cinema classic. And it will also probably make a lot of money. (These are the most profitable movies of all time.) 

To identify the movies that have won the most Oscars, 24/7 Tempo consulted The Official Academy Awards Database to determine every film that has won at least seven Academy Awards, how many nominations each of these received, and what studio produced each film. Information on domestic ticket sales comes from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services.  

Three very different movies are tied for the most wins – 11 for each. They are 2003’s fantasy saga “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” the third film in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy; James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster “Titanic; and a throwback to 1959, the biblical epic “Ben-Hur.” If “Titanic” is No. 1 on our list, it’s only because it beat out the others in number of nominations – 14, as opposed to 12 for “Ben-Hur” and 11 for “The Return of the King.” (Here are all the Oscar winners for Best Picture ranked.)

Click here to see the movies that won the most Oscars

Historical dramas seem to stand a good chance of garnering a shelf-full of Oscars. Many of the films tapped for multiple honors portray historical figures, like “Gandhi,” “Patton,” and “Lawrence of Arabia” – as well Mozart and Shakespeare. Four musicals scored big, too – “Cabaret,” “My Fair Lady,” “Gigi,” and the original, pre-Spielberg version of “My Fair Lady.” Science fiction fans, on the other hand, may be disappointed that only one film set in outer space – “Gravity” – made the list.  

This year, “The Power of the Dog” has a shot to make the list of most awarded films with 12 nominations. Winners will be announced on March 27.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

26. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 8 nominations
> Studio: Columbia
> Ticket sales: $33 million

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

25. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 8 nominations (plus 1 special Oscar)
> Studio: RKO Radio
> Ticket sales: $23.6 million

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

24. Gravity (2013)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 10 nominations
> Studio: Warner Bros.
> Ticket sales: $274 million

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

23. The Sting (1973)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 10 nominations
> Studio: Universal
> Ticket sales: $160 million

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

22. Going My Way (1944)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 10 nominations
> Studio: Paramount
> Ticket sales: $16.3 million

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

21. Patton (1970)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 10 nominations
> Studio: 20th Century-Fox
> Ticket sales: $63 million

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

20. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 10 nominations
> Studio: Columbia
> Ticket sales: $37 million

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

19. Out of Africa (1985)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 11 nominations
> Studio: Universal
> Ticket sales: $79 million

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

18. Schindler’s List (1993)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 12 nominations
> Studio: Universal
> Ticket sales: $97 million

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Orion Pictures

17. Dances With Wolves (1990)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 12 nominations
> Studio: Orion
> Ticket sales: $184 million

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

16. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
> Wins and nominations: 7 wins, 13 nominations
> Studio: Miramax
> Ticket sales: $100 million

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

15. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
> Wins and nominations: 8 wins, 10 nominations
> Studio: Fox Searchlight
> Ticket sales: $141 million

Source: Courtesy of Allied Artists Pictures

14. Cabaret (1972)
> Wins and nominations: 8 wins, 10 nominations
> Studio: Allied Artists
> Ticket sales: $41 million

Source: Courtesy of Orion Pictures

13. Amadeus (1984)
> Wins and nominations: 8 wins, 11 nominations
> Studio: Orion
> Ticket sales: $52 million

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

12. Gandhi (1982)
> Wins and nominations: 8 wins, 11 nominations
> Studio: Columbia
> Ticket sales: $53 million

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

11. My Fair Lady (1964)
> Wins and nominations: 8 wins, 12 nominations
> Studio: Warner Bros.
> Ticket sales: $72 million

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

10. On the Waterfront (1954)
> Wins and nominations: 8 wins, 12 nominations
> Studio: Columbia
> Ticket sales: $9.6 million

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

9. From Here to Eternity (1953)
> Wins and nominations: 8 wins, 13 nominations
> Studio: Columbia
> Ticket sales: $31 million

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

8. Gone with the Wind (1939)
> Wins and nominations: 8 wins, 13 nominations (plus 1 special Oscar and 1 Sci/Tech Award)
> Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
> Ticket sales: $199 million

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

7. The Last Emperor (1987)
> Wins and nominations: 9 wins, 9 nominations
> Studio: Columbia
> Ticket sales: $44 million

Source: Archive Photos / Getty Images

6. Gigi (1958)
> Wins and nominations: 9 wins, 9 nominations
> Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
> Ticket sales: $7.3 million

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

5. The English Patient (1996)
> Wins and nominations: 9 wins, 12 nominations
> Studio: Miramax
> Ticket sales: $79 million

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

4. West Side Story (1961)
> Wins and nominations: 10 wins, 11 nominations
> Studio: United Artists
> Ticket sales: $44 million

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
> Wins and nominations: 11 wins, 11 nominations
> Studio: New Line
> Ticket sales: $378 million

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

2. Ben-Hur (1959)
> Wins and nominations: 11 wins, 12 nominations
> Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
> Ticket sales: $73 million

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

1. Titanic (1997)
> Wins and nominations: 11 wins, 14 nominations
> Studio: 20th Century Fox and Paramount
> Ticket sales: $659 million

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.