2004 in film

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2004 in film is an overview of events, including the highest-grossing films, award ceremonies, festivals, a list of country-specific lists of films released, notable deaths and film debuts. Shrek 2 was the year's top-grossing film, and Million Dollar Baby won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Evaluation of the year

Renowned American film critic and professor Emanuel Levy described 2004 as "a banner year for actors, particularly men." He went on to emphasize, "I can't think of another year in which there were so many good performances, in every genre. It was a year in which we saw the entire spectrum of demographics displayed on the big screen, from vet actors such as Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman, to seniors such as Pacino, De Niro, and Hoffman, to newcomers such as Topher Grace. As always, though, the center of the male acting pyramid is occupied by actors in their forties and fifties, such as Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Liam Neeson, Kevin Kline, Don Cheadle, Jim Carrey. In terms of film genres, Levy stated, "The year's most prominent genre was the biopicture, a genre that in the past has suffered from lack of prestige and abundance of clichs. There were a dozen worthy biopictures, including Alexander, The Aviator, Beyond the Sea, Finding Neverland, Hotel Rwanda, Kinsey, Motorcycle Diaries, and Ray. Celebrating entrepreneurs, playwrights, singers, sex researchers, composers, and politicians, they continued to show one alarming bias: They were all about men. You don't have to be a feminist critic or a sociologist to deduct that, as far as real or reel heroes are concerned, women matter less in Hollywood and American society at large. Can't anyone come up with a strong part for a femme-driven bio a la British film Vera Drake, without relegating women to showbiz personae." Levy also stated, "Classic Hollywood cinema, which reached its height during the golden age of studio system and has been in decline, is kept alive by one major force: Clint Eastwood. The "Man With No Name" has become the "Man With the Best Name", a director who's experiencing an unparallel artistic height with “Million Dollar Baby,” a follow-up to the equally sublime Mystic River."[1]

Highest-grossing films

The top 10 films released in 2004 by worldwide gross are as follows:[2]

Highest-grossing films of 2004
Rank Title Distributor Worldwide gross
1 Shrek 2 DreamWorks $928,760,770
2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Warner Bros. $795,634,069
3 Spider-Man 2 Sony Pictures / Columbia $788,976,453
4 The Incredibles Disney $631,442,092
5 The Passion of the Christ Icon / Newmarket $611,486,736
6 The Day After Tomorrow Fox $552,639,571
7 Meet the Fockers Universal $522,657,936
8 Troy Warner Bros. $497,409,852
9 Shark Tale DreamWorks $374,583,879
10 Ocean's Twelve Warner Bros. $362,744,280

Shrek 2 set a new record for total gross by an animated film making it the highest-grossing animated film of all time. The record was later surpassed by Toy Story 3 in 2010. On July 7, Spider-Man 2 reached a $200 million domestic gross in a record time of eight days. On July 18, after 19 days in release, Spider-Man 2 reached $300 million domestically in another record time. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has the highest international revenue of $546 million compared to Shrek 2's $487.5 million.

The Passion of the Christ, directed by Mel Gibson, became the first blockbuster motion picture of 2004 and also the highest grossing R-rated film domestically. Meet the Fockers beat 2003's Bruce Almighty record for the highest-grossing comedy film; both released by Universal.


Month Day Event
January 25 Golden Globe Awards: Major winners include The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Lost in Translation.
26 Golden Raspberry Award nominations announced, leading films are:
27 Academy Awards nominations announced, leading films are:
February 4 9th Empire Awards: Major winners include Love Actually and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
15 BAFTA Awards: Major winners include Scarlett Johansson, Best Actress and Bill Murray, Best Actor
22 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Charlize Theron, The Actor for Best Female Actor, Johnny Depp, The Actor for Best Male Actor, Tim Robbins, The Actor for Best Male Supporting Actor, Renée Zellweger, The Actor for Best Female Supporting Actor.
23 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King becomes the second film in history to gross more than $1 billion in worldwide box office receipts.
25 The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's major motion picture about the last days of Jesus's life on Earth, opens huge in time for Lent.
28 Gigli dominates the Golden Raspberry Awards, walking away with 6 awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Jennifer Lopez), Worst Actor (Ben Affleck), Worst Director (Martin Brest), Worst Screenplay (Brest) and worst on-screen couple (Lopez and Affleck). Worst supporting acting awards went to actress Demi Moore for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and actor Sylvester Stallone for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.
29 76th Academy Awards: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King wins picture and director awards as well as nine others for a total of 11 Academy Awards, a tie for the most ever won by a single film.
May 22 Fahrenheit 9/11, a controversial documentary by Michael Moore wins the top prize, the Palme d'Or, at the Cannes Film Festival.
June 5 The 2004 MTV Movie Awards were held at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California and hosted by Lindsay Lohan.
27 Fahrenheit 9/11 breaks the record for highest opening-weekend earnings in the United States for a documentary, earning $23.9 million. And going on to earn over $119M in domestic box office earnings.
July 1 Marlon Brando, considered by many to be the greatest actor of all time, dies at the age of 80 from respiratory failure at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
October 29 Voices of Iraq released, the first "wikified" documentary film created by sending multiple DV cameras to participants.
December 13 The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees for the 2005 Golden Globes awards with comedy Sideways garnering seven nominations and actor Jamie Foxx with three for his work in both film and television.
21 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces seven films are eligible for the Academy Award for Visual Effects:
28 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces that 267 films released in 2004 are eligible for consideration of the Academy Award for Best Picture.


Category/Organization 10th Critics' Choice Awards
January 10, 2005
62nd Golden Globe Awards
January 16, 2005
Producers, Directors, Screen Actors, and Writers Guild Awards 58th BAFTA Awards
February 12, 2005
77th Academy Awards
February 27, 2005
Drama Musical or Comedy
Best Film Sideways The Aviator Sideways The Aviator Million Dollar Baby
Best Director Martin Scorsese
The Aviator
Clint Eastwood
Million Dollar Baby
Mike Leigh
Vera Drake
Clint Eastwood
Million Dollar Baby
Best Actor Jamie Foxx
Leonardo DiCaprio
The Aviator
Jamie Foxx
Best Actress Hilary Swank
Million Dollar Baby
Annette Bening
Being Julia
Hilary Swank
Million Dollar Baby
Imelda Staunton
Vera Drake
Hilary Swank
Million Dollar Baby
Best Supporting Actor Thomas Haden Church
Clive Owen
Morgan Freeman
Million Dollar Baby
Clive Owen
Morgan Freeman
Million Dollar Baby
Best Supporting Actress Virginia Madsen
Natalie Portman
Cate Blanchett
The Aviator
Best Screenplay, Adapted Sideways
Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Best Screenplay, Original Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth
Best Animated Film The Incredibles N/A N/A N/A N/A The Incredibles
Best Original Score Howard Shore
The Aviator
N/A Gustavo Santaolalla
The Motorcycle Diaries
Jan A. P. Kaczmarek
Finding Neverland
Best Original Song "Old Habits Die Hard"
N/A N/A "Al otro lado del río"
The Motorcycle Diaries
Best Foreign Language Film The Sea Inside N/A The Motorcycle Diaries The Sea Inside
Palme d'Or (Cannes Film Festival)
Fahrenheit 9/11, directed by Michael Moore, United States
Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival)
Vera Drake, directed by Mike Leigh, United Kingdom
Golden Bear (Berlin Film Festival)
Head-On, directed by Fatih Akın, Germany & Turkey

2004 films

The list of films released in 2004, arranged by country, are as follows:


Notable deaths

Month Date Name Age Country Profession Notable films
January 2 Etta Moten Barnett 102 US Actress
2 Lynn Cartwright 76 US Actress
4 Brian Gibson 59 UK Director
4 Jeff Nuttall 70 UK Actor
6 Philip Gilbert 72 Canada Actor
7 Ingrid Thulin 77 Sweden Actress
9 Lyndon Brook 77 UK Writer, Actor
10 Spalding Gray 62 US Actor
10 Sidney Miller 87 US Actor, Director
13 Phillip Crosby 69 US Actor
14 Catherine Craig 88 US Actress
14 Uta Hagen 84 Germany Actress
14 Ron O'Neal 66 US Actor, Director
17 Ray Stark 89 US Producer
17 Noble Willingham 72 US Actor
22 Ann Miller 83 US Actress, Dancer
27 H.B. Haggerty 78 US Actor
27 Jack Paar 85 US Actor
28 Elroy Hirsch 80 US Actor
28 Joe Viterelli 66 US Actor
February 4 Michael P. Moran 59 US Actor
8 Robert F. Colesberry 57 US Producer
10 J. C. Quinn 63 US Actor
11 Hugh Cecil 90 UK Actor
11 Tony Pope 56 US Voice Actor
12 Martin Jurow 92 US Producer
15 Jan Miner 86 US Actress
23 Carl Anderson 58 US Singer, Actor
23 John Randolph 88 US Actor
26 Russell Hunter 79 UK Actor Taste the Blood of Dracula
26 Ralph E. Winters 94 US Film Editor
March 2 Mercedes McCambridge 87 US Actress
5 Walt Gorney 91 Austria Actor
6 Frances Dee 94 US Actress
7 Michael Stringer 79 UK Production Designer
7 Paul Winfield 64 US Actor
8 Robert Pastorelli 50 US Actor
10 Wilhelm von Homburg 63 Germany Actor
15 René Laloux 74 France Animator, Director
15 John Vallone 50 US Production Designer
18 Richard Marner 82 Russia Actor
21 Ludmilla Tchérina 79 France Actress, Choreographer
24 Richard Leech 81 UK Actor
25 Robert Arden 81 UK Actor, Producer
26 Jan Sterling 82 US Actress
27 Peter Diamond 74 UK Actor, Stuntman
28 Peter Ustinov 82 UK Actor, Director
29 Simone Renant 93 France Actress
April 1 Carrie Snodgress 58 US Actress
4 Ralph Kemplen 91 UK Film Editor
4 Austin Willis 87 Canada Actor
7 Victor Argo 69 US Actor
17 Bruce Boa 73 Canada Actor
18 Frances Rafferty 81 US Actress
19 Tim Burstall 77 Australia Director, Screenwriter
19 Philip Locke 76 UK Actor
21 Mary Selway 68 UK Casting Director
24 Robert McBain 71 UK Actor
May 1 Nelson Gidding 84 US Screenwriter
3 Anthony Ainley 71 UK Actor
4 Hugh Gillin 78 US Actor
5 Vern Taylor 71 US Actor
6 Virginia Capers 78 US Actress
9 Tommy Farrell 82 US Actress
9 Alan King 76 US Actor
14 Anna Lee 91 UK Actress
17 Tony Randall 84 US Actor
23 Trudy Marshall 84 US Actress
27 Patience Cleveland 73 US Actress
28 Irene Manning 91 US Actress
June 3 Harold Goodwin 86 UK Actor
4 Charles Correll 60 US Cinematographer
4 Nino Manfredi 83 Italy Actor, Director
5 Virginia North 58 UK Actress
5 Mark Northover 54 UK Actor
5 Ronald Reagan 93 US Actor, 40th President of the United States
6 Judy Campbell 88 UK Actress
7 Donald Trumbull 95 US Visual Effects
9 Barbara Whiting 73 US Actress
10 Ray Charles 73 US Singer, Actor
14 Max Rosenberg 89 US Producer
18 Doris Dowling 81 US Actress
18 George Buck Flower 66 US Actor
19 Colin McCormack 62 UK Actor
26 Muriel Angelus 92 UK Actress
July 1 Marlon Brando 80 US Actor
6 Eric Douglas 46 US Actor
6 Jimmie Skaggs 59 US Actor
9 Carlo Di Palma 79 Italy Cinematographer
9 Isabel Sanford 86 US Actress
11 Dorothy Hart 82 US Actress
12 Jeff Morris 69 US Actor
13 George Mallaby 64 Australia Actor
17 Pat Roach 67 UK Actor
18 Richard Ney 87 US Actor
21 Jerry Goldsmith 75 US Composer
23 Serge Reggiani 82 France Actor, Singer
27 Sam Edwards 89 US Actor
28 Eugene Roche 75 US Actor
31 Laura Betti 77 Italy Actress
31 Virginia Grey 87 US Actress
31 Robert James 80 UK Actor Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter
August 1 Vivian Austin 84 US Actress
8 Paul Garner 95 US Actor
8 Fay Wray 96 Canada Actress
12 Peter Woodthorpe 72 UK Actor
18 Elmer Bernstein 82 US Composer
18 Hugh Manning 83 UK Actor
22 Daniel Petrie 83 Canada Director
25 Donald M. Ashton 85 UK Production Designer
27 William Pierson 78 US Actor
30 Bob Sherman 63 UK Actor
September 6 Elly Annie Schneider 90 Germany Actress
7 Frank Thomas 92 US Animator
9 Caitlin Clarke 52 US Actress
10 O. L. Duke 51 US Actor
11 Michael A. Carter 77 UK Sound Re-Recording Mixer
15 Bernard Gribble 77 US Film Editor
17 Evi Rauer 88 Estonia Actress
18 Russ Meyer 82 US Director
24 Tim Choate 49 US Actor
30 Michael Relph 89 UK Producer
30 Ignatius Wolfington 83 US Actor
October 3 Janet Leigh 77 US Actress
5 Rodney Dangerfield 82 US Actor
8 Irina Demick 67 France Actress
10 Christopher Reeve 52 US Actor
17 Julius Harris 81 US Actor
26 Patricia Knight 89 US Actress
30 Peggy Ryan 80 US Actress, Dancer
31 Mari Aldon 78 Lithuania Actress
November 6 Robert Lang 70 UK Actor
6 Elizabeth Rogers 70 US Actress
7 Howard Keel 85 US Actor
11 Dayton Allen 85 US Voice Actor, Actor
12 Norman Rose 87 US Actor
13 Carlo Rustichelli 87 Italy Composer
13 Don Sharpe 75 UK Supervising Sound Editor
15 Helmut Griem 72 Germany Actor
20 Anna Keaveney 55 UK Actress
27 John Drew Barrymore 72 US Actor
28 Molly Weir 94 UK Actress
December 4 Carl Esmond 102 US Actor
9 Jean Tournier 78 FRA Cinematographer
10 John Monks Jr. 94 US Screenwriter
15 Maria Perschy 66 Austria Actress
16 Stefano Madia 49 Italy Actor
21 Richard Hamilton 83 US Actor
28 Jerry Orbach 69 US Actor
29 William Boyett 77 US Actor
29 Liddy Holloway 59 New Zealand Actress

Film debuts


  1. ^ Oscar 2004 : Film Year in Review
  2. ^ "2004 Worldwide Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved March 7, 2020.