Moviegoers vote for ‘Titanic’

A clean sweep for blockbuster

“Titanic” swept all categories, including best picture, in the American Moviegoer Awards announced Tuesday. Sponsored by MovieFone, the annual poll elicited more than 330,000 responses in the five-category prize event.

In addition to picture, “Titanic” was cited for James Cameron’s direction and the performances of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. It also won in the new category of Outstanding Line in a Movie for the memorable: “You jump, I jump, right?”

“It’s unquestionably the award that reflects the attitudes of the frequent moviegoer,” said MovieFone president/voice Russ (Red) Leatherman. “That’s why Leonardo DiCaprio, who wasn’t nominated for Oscar, comes out a winner just as Madonna did for ‘Evita’ last year.”

Indeed, “Good Will Hunting,” which Miramax has touted as this year’s Oscar underdog, wound up as the Moviegoer runner-up, and lead Matt Damon was second to DiCaprio. MovieFone CEO Andrew Jarecki noted that acting winners and runners- up not surprisingly skewed younger than one would expect from critics groups and the Academy. Helen Hunt of “As Good as It Gets” trailed close behind Winslet, and Steven Spielberg finished just behind Cameron for his work on “Amistad.”

This year, the polling period ran from Feb. 6 through March 1 in the 31 cities in which the info service operates.

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