STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS took five Empire Awards in London Sunday night, just edging out MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, which snagged four of the ten it was up for. Neither took the top honor, though: Best Picture went to THE REVENANT. J.J. Abrams, however, did take Best Director, trumping THE REVENANT’s Alejandro González Iñárritu. So there.
STAR WARS’ visual effects also triumphed, as did stars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, who took Best Male and Female Newcomer, respectively. The seventh installment in the series was named Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy film, beating MAD MAX, THE MARTIAN, JURASSIC WORLD, and THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY — PART 2.
(THE MARTIAN wasn’t entirely shafted as star Matt Damon took Best Actor, presented by his BOURNE director Paul Greengrass.)
MAD MAX won for costumes, production design, makeup, and soundtrack for Junkie XL’s feverish score.
Best Game went to BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT, while INSIDE OUT was named Best Animated Film.
In a bit of a surprise, the Irish film THE HALLOW beat out CRIMSON PEAK, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3, KRAMPUS, and the critically adored IT FOLLOWS (97% on Rotten Tomatoes!) for Best Horror Film.
THE HUNGER GAMES’ Caesar Flickerman’s alter ego, Stanley Tucci, was awarded the Empire Hero award, and the late Alan Rickman was named Empire Legend for their inspiration and contributions to film.
See a full list of winners and nominees here.