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January 10, 2000
Sixth Sense Wins People's Choice Award
Arthur J Pais
The Sixth Sense, the movie which is hardly mentioned as a candidate for best picture nomination at the Oscars, was named the favorite film and favorite dramatic film of 1999 at the 26th annual People's Choice Awards. The Sixth Sense also brought its star Bruce Willis, the 'favorite motion picture actor' award. The awards were aired on CBS on Sunday.
Manoj Night Shyamalan, who wrote and directed The Sixth Sense, became the second Indian to walk to the dais to receive a much publicised award. Nearly two decades ago, Bhanu Athaiya, costume designer for Gandhi, had won an Oscar. Ben Kingsley, who won the best actor nod for Gandhi, was born in England of an Indian father and British mother.
This is the third feature film directed by 29-year-old Shyamalan. While his first, Praying with Anger, received positive reviews and recovered its $ 100,000 budget, the second, Wide Awake, lost about $ 3 million two years ago.
The awards, which honor popular favorites in films, television and music, were based on a telephone poll of 5,000 Americans conducted by the Gallup Organization. The poll uses a 'strategic sample' and is intended to reflect the views of 200 million Americans.
The Sixth Sense, about a little boy "who sees dead people", made more than $ 280 million at the box office in America. It is the second highest grossing film in the domestic market for Walt Disney. The Lion King leads the pack with $ 302 million, and Toy Story 2, which has grossed about $ 210 million, is expected to end its American run with about $ 250 million.
The movie that is yet to open in a handful of territories in Europe, has pocketed over $ 200 million abroad. In Japan, it managed over $ 50 million and in the United Kingdom it raked in about $ 32 million, more than Tarzan,, another Disney hit that has made swung about $ 30 million.
The film garnered two Golden Globe nominations last month -- for child actor Haley Joel Osment, nominated as best supporting actor and for Shyamalan for best screenplay.
Shyamalan's luck continued at the box-office as Stuart Little made $ 11.5 million. The Indian, who co-wrote the script, is credited for turning the mouse in E B White's classic tale into a talking creature.
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