Most profitable Oscar movies

Only two other films have equalled The Return of the King's tally of 11 Oscars - 1959's Ben-Hur and 1997's Titanic. This puts Peter Jackson's Middle-earth epic on a par with two of Hollywood's most celebrated, and costly, epics.

But is there a common link between the three films that have won more Academy Awards than any other? If so, you can bet that producers are now trying to crack the magic formula. Here are some pointers that could just help them out.

If you want Oscar voters to sit up and take notice of your film, remember this golden rule: it can never be too long. Ben-Hur clocks in at a whopping 212 minutes. Titanic stays afloat for 194, while The Return of the King weighs in at 201.

Ben-Hur cost $15 million - small change now, but astounding for 1959 - while Titanic's budget soared to $200 million (Ј106m). And though The Return of the King cost a modest-sounding $94 million, you have to factor in New Line Cinema's total investment in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - $300 million (Ј160m), informs &to=' target=_blank>BBC

The film's other awards were for best art direction, costume design, visual effects, makeup, sound mixing, original score, film editing, original song and adapted screenplay, reports &to=' target=_blank>

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