Special Report

The Movies That Won the Most Oscars

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.

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