2006 in film

The following is an overview of events in 2006, including the highest-grossing films, award ceremonies and festivals, a list of films released and notable deaths.

List of years in film
In radio
In television

Evaluation of the year

Legendary film critic Philip French of The Guardian described 2006 as "an outstanding year for British cinema". He went on to emphasize, "Six of our well-established directors have made highly individual films of real distinction: Michael Winterbottom's A Cock and Bull Story, Ken Loach's Palme d'Or winner The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Christopher Nolan's The Prestige, Stephen Frears's The Queen, Paul Greengrass's United 93 and Nicholas Hytner's The History Boys. Two young directors made confident debuts, both offering a jaundiced view of contemporary Britain: Andrea Arnold's Red Road and Paul Andrew Williams's London to Brighton. In addition the gifted Mexican Alfonso Cuaron came here to make the dystopian thriller Children of Men." He also stated, "In the (United) States, M. Night Shyamalan of The Sixth Sense fame fell flat on his over-confident face with Lady in the Water, but Martin Scorsese's The Departed was his best for years, and he was with Jack Nicholson at last. Apart from that, the best American films were political (Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck, The New World) or very personal (Little Miss Sunshine, Little Children, The Squid and the Whale). Sadly, Oliver Stone's 9/11 picture World Trade Center was neither. Asian cinema produced a string of elegant thrillers and horror flicks. The best Eastern European movie was The Death of Mr Lazarescu, a devastating look at the Romania Ceausescu left behind him. Most of the best Western European films came from France, with Michael Haneke's Hidden (Cache), proving the most widely discussed art-house puzzle picture since Last Year at Marienbad. The award of 18 certificates by the BBFC to Shortbus and Destricted has brought close the abolition of censorship, but not of classification, and Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain was a real step forward for the representation of homosexuals in mainstream cinema, though Gore Vidal claims that there's a gay subtext to every western. However, the year's most extraordinary event, or conjunction, was the almost simultaneous release of Tommy Lee Jones's directorial debut The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Who would have predicted in the Sixties, when they were roommates at Harvard and used by Erich Segal as joint models for Oliver Barrett IV in Love Story, that both Jones and Gore would end up as movie stars - if, in Gore's case, accidentally and temporarily?"[1]

Highest-grossing films

The top 10 films released in 2006 by worldwide gross are as follows:[2]

Highest-grossing films of 2006
RankTitleDistributor(s)Worldwide gross
1 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Buena Vista $1,066,179,725
2 The Da Vinci Code Sony Pictures $760,006,945
3 Ice Age: The Meltdown Fox $660,998,756
4 Casino Royale Sony Pictures / MGM $606,099,584
5 Night at the Museum Fox $574,480,841
6 Cars Buena Vista $461,983,149
7 X-Men: The Last Stand Fox $460,435,291
8 Mission: Impossible III Paramount $398,479,497
9 Superman Returns Warner Bros. $391,081,192
10 Happy Feet $384,335,608

Box office records


January 4The Producers Guild of America nominates Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, Good Night, and Good Luck and Walk the Line as contenders for their best-produced film award. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) nominate The 40-Year-Old Virgin, I Tried, Crash, Good Night, and Good Luck and The Squid and the Whale for best original screenplay. The WGA nominees for best adapted screenplay are Brokeback Mountain, Capote, The Constant Gardener, A History of Violence and Syriana.
5Jon Stewart is named host of the 78th Academy Awards.
9The Broadcast Film Critics Association present their Critics' Choice Awards for the best films of 2005 live on The WB network in the United States. Brokeback Mountain is named best picture, best director for Ang Lee and ties for best supporting actress for Michelle Williams. Philip Seymour Hoffman is named best actor for Capote and Reese Witherspoon is awarded best actress for Walk the Line.
16The winners of the 63rd Golden Globe Awards include Brokeback Mountain for best dramatic picture and best director.
19The 2006 Sundance Film Festival starts in Park City, Utah.
24Disney announces plans to acquire Pixar
28The Directors Guild of America names Ang Lee best film director of 2005 for Brokeback Mountain, best documentary goes to Werner Herzog for Grizzly Man and its Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Clint Eastwood.
29The Screen Actors Guild names Philip Seymour Hoffman outstanding male movie actor for Capote, Reese Witherspoon as outstanding female lead movie actor for Walk the Line, Rachel Weisz as outstanding female actor in a supporting role for The Constant Gardener, Paul Giamatti as outstanding male actor in a supporting role for Cinderella Man, the cast of Crash as outstanding ensemble in a theatrical motion picture, and Shirley Temple Black is given a life achievement award.
30The 26th Golden Raspberry Awards nominees include Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Dirty Love, The Dukes of Hazzard, House of Wax and Son of the Mask for worst film; Tom Cruise, Will Ferrell, Jamie Kennedy, The Rock and Rob Schneider for worst actor; and Jessica Alba, Hilary Duff, Jennifer Lopez, Jenny McCarthy and Tara Reid for worst actress.
31The Academy Awards for best film achievement in 2005 had nominated primarily independent films. Brokeback Mountain led the nominations with 8, followed by Crash, Good Night, and Good Luck and Memoirs of a Geisha all earning six.
February 5The 33rd annual Annie Award - Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit won the best animated feature, as well as all nine categories which it was nominated. Family Guy won the best voice acting and directing, Star Wars: Clone Wars II Chapters 21-25 won the best animated TV production, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch won the best home entertainment award, and Ultimate Spider-Man won the new "best video game award".
6Disney re-acquires the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from NBCUniversal, in exchange for ABC letting commentator Al Michaels work on NBC Sunday Night Football.
March 4Dirty Love dominates the 26th Golden Raspberry Awards with 4 awards including Worst Picture and Worst Actress for Jenny McCarthy. Rob Schneider took home for Worst Actor for his performance in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Other awards went to Hayden Christensen as Worst Supporting Actor for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Paris Hilton as Worst Supporting Actress for House of Wax
578th Academy Awards: Crash earns a win for Best Picture upsetting favorite Brokeback Mountain. No film, for the first time in 58 years, won a clear majority. Both films as well as Memoirs of a Geisha and King Kong win three Oscars each. Favorite March of the Penguins wins Oscar for Documentary Feature. South Africa wins its first motion picture Oscar with the Best Foreign Film award for Tsotsi. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit wins Oscar for Animated feature film.

Major awards as follows:

1311th Empire Awards: Pride & Prejudice and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith win the most awards with two.
April 18Tom Cruise and fiancée Katie Holmes welcomed their newborn baby Suri.
25The 5th annual Tribeca Film Festival opens with notable films such as Mission: Impossible III and United 93.
28TV double act Ant & Dec make their big screen debut with Alien Autopsy.
May 17The 2006 Cannes Film Festival began in Cannes, France. It continued until May 28. It was hosted by Vincent Cassel. Films in competition included Babel by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Fast Food Nation by Richard Linklater, Iklimler by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, El Laberinto del Fauno by Guillermo del Toro, Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, Southland Tales by Richard Kelly, Volver by Pedro Almodóvar, and The Wind That Shakes the Barley by Ken Loach
27Brad Pitt and Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie give birth to daughter Shiloh in the African nation of Namibia.
June 3The 2006 MTV Movie Awards winners were announced.
14The American Film Institute releases its ninth list of its AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers recognizing 100 films as the most "inspirational" in cinema history. Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life is named the most "inspirational" film of all time.
July 7Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest opens later grossing $55.8 million on its opening day, setting records for the largest opening day, the largest single day gross, and the largest Friday gross of all time (the previous record was held by Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith with $50,013,859, the previous year). It also surpassed the opening weekend gross (at $135,634,554 between July 79) previously set by Spider-Man in 2002 with $114,844,116 between May 35.
28Actor and Oscar-winning director producer Mel Gibson is arrested after speeding on Pacific Coast Highway due to a DUI. Police reports later reveal stinging anti-Semitic comments made to the officer (a Jew). Gibson checked into rehab and issued several statements apologizing for his rude comments. See Mel Gibson DUI incident for more details.
September 7Ellen DeGeneres is named host of the 79th Academy Awards.
7-16The 2006 Toronto International Film Festival takes place.
December 764th Golden Globe Awards nominees are announced. Babel leads nominations with seven.


Category/Organization64th Golden Globe Awards
January 15, 2007
12th Critics' Choice Awards
January 20, 2007
Producers, Directors, Screen Actors, and Writers Guild Awards
January 20-February 11, 2007
60th BAFTA Awards
February 11, 2007
79th Academy Awards
February 25, 2007
DramaMusical or Comedy
Best FilmBabelDreamgirlsThe DepartedLittle Miss SunshineThe QueenThe Departed
Best DirectorMartin Scorsese
The Departed
Paul Greengrass
United 93
Martin Scorsese
The Departed
Best ActorForest Whitaker
The Last King of Scotland
Sacha Baron Cohen
Forest Whitaker
The Last King of Scotland
Best ActressHelen Mirren
The Queen
Meryl Streep
The Devil Wears Prada
Helen Mirren
The Queen
Best Supporting ActorEddie Murphy
Alan Arkin
Little Miss Sunshine
Best Supporting ActressJennifer Hudson
Best Screenplay, AdaptedPeter Morgan
The Queen
Michael Arndt
Little Miss Sunshine
William Monahan
The Departed
Jeremy Brock and Peter Morgan
The Last King of Scotland
William Monahan
The Departed
Best Screenplay, OriginalMichael Arndt
Little Miss Sunshine
Best Animated FilmCarsHappy Feet
Best Original ScoreThe Painted Veil
Alexandre Desplat
The Illusionist
Philip Glass
Gustavo Santaolalla
Best Original Song"The Song of the Heart"
Happy Feet
N/AN/A"I Need to Wake Up"
An Inconvenient Truth
Best Foreign Language FilmLetters from Iwo JimaN/APan's LabyrinthThe Lives of Others

Films released in 2006

The list of films released in 2006, arranged by country, are as follows:

  • American films
  • Argentine films
  • Australian films
  • Bengali films
  • Bollywood films
  • Brazilian films
  • British films
  • French films
  • Hong Kong films
  • Italian films
  • Japanese films
  • List of Kannada films of 2006
  • Malayalam films
  • Mexican films
  • Pakistani films
  • Russian films
  • South Korean films
  • Spanish films
  • Tamil films
  • Telugu films


  • April 20 - Kailia Posey, American actress and reality television show contestant (died 2022)
  • April 22 - Nathanael Saleh, English actor
  • April 29 - Xochitl Gomez, American actress
  • June 25 – Mckenna Grace, American actress
  • September 7 - Ian Chen (actor), American actor
  • September 12 - Alexander Molony, British actor
  • September 17 - Ella Jay Basco, American actress
  • October 1 - Priah Ferguson, American actress
  • October 5 – Jacob Tremblay, Canadian actor
  • December 9 - Pixie Davies, English actress


MonthDateNameAgeCountryProfessionNotable films
January 2Osa Massen91DenmarkActress
2John Woodnutt81UKActor
5Mark Roberts84USActor
7Jim Zulevic40USActor
12Stu Linder74USFilm Editor
14Shelley Winters85USActress
19Anthony Franciosa77USActor
21Robert Knudson80USSound Re-Recording Mixer
23Joseph M. Newman96USDirector
24Fayard Nicholas91USActor, Dancer, Choreographer
24Chris Penn40USActor
27Paul Valentine86USActor
28Henry McGee77UKActor
31Moira Shearer80UKActress, Dancer
February 1Roy Alon63UKStuntman
3Jean Byron80USActress
3Al Lewis82USActor
5Franklin Cover77USActor
6Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez80USActor
9Phil Brown89USActor
13Andreas Katsulas59USActor
14Darry Cowl80FranceActor
  • Not on the Lips
  • Don't Touch the White Woman!
17Harold Hunter31USActor
18Richard Bright64USActor
19Erna Lazarus102USScreenwriter
  • The Body Disappears
  • Hollywood or Bust
21Richard Snell50BahamasMakeup Artist
24Don Knotts81USActor
24Dennis Weaver81USActor
25Darren McGavin83USActor
March 1Peter Sykes66AustraliaDirector, Actor
1Jack Wild53UKActor
2Phyllis Huffman61USCasting Director
7John Junkin76UKWriter, Actor
7Gordon Parks93USDirector
12Joseph Bova81USActor
13Maureen Stapleton80USActress
16Moira Redmond77UKActress
17Bob Papenbrook50USVoice Actor
18Michael Attwell63UKActor
25Richard Fleischer89USDirector
29Gretchen Rau66USSet and Art Director
April 4Gary Gray69USActor
9Vilgot Sjöman82SwedenDirector
17Henderson Forsythe88USActor
22Alida Valli84ItalyActress
23Susan Browning65USActress
23Jennifer Jayne74UKActress, Writer
May 1Jay Presson Allen84USWriter, Producer
1Betsy Jones-Moreland76USActress
4Michael Taliferro44USActor, Director, Producer
10Val Guest94USDirector, Screenwriter
14Paul Marco78USActor
21Katherine Dunham96USDancer
24Henry Bumstead91USArt Director
27Paul Gleason67USActor
30Shohei Imamura79JapanActor
  • Endless Desire
  • The Insect Woman
30Robert Sterling88USActor
June 4Alec Bregonzi76UKActor
8Robert Donner75USActor
10Gerald James88UKActor
12Hugh Latimer75UKActor
16Arthur Franz86USActor
18Vincent Sherman99USDirector
18Richard Stahl74USActor
23Aaron Spelling83USProducer, Actor
25Kenneth Griffith84UKActor
July 2Jan Murray89USActor
3Jack Smith92USActor
5Amzie Strickland87USActress
6Kasey Rogers80USActress
8June Allyson88USActress
9Chris Drake82USActor
11Barnard Hughes90USActor
12Kurt Kreuger89GermanyActor
13Red Buttons87USActor
19Jack Warden85USActor
20Robert O. Cornthwaite89USActor
27Johnny Weissmuller Jr.65USActor
28Patrick Allen79MalawiActor
August 4John Alderson90USActor
7Lois January92USActress
13Tony Jay73UKVoice Actor, Actor
14Bruno Kirby57USActor
16Alan Vint61USActor
25Ann Richards88AustraliaActress
25Joseph Stefano84USScreenwriter
29Bill Stewart63UKActor
30Glenn Ford90CanadaActor
31William Aldrich61USProducer, Actor
September 4Steve Irwin44AustraliaWildlife Expert, Actor
4Fernando Siro74ArgentinaActor, Director
  • Where the Wind Dies
  • Un Argentino en New York
5Hilary Mason89UKActress
7Robert Earl Jones96USActor
8Frank Middlemass87UKActor
9Gérard Brach79FranceDirector, Writer
9Herbert Rudley96USActor
11Pat Corley76USActor
14Johnny Sekka72USActor
14Virginia Vale86USActress
  • Blonde Comet
  • Broadway Big Shot
19Elizabeth Allen77USActress
20Sven Nykvist83SwedenCinematographer
22Edward Albert55USActor
23Malcolm Arnold84UKComposer
24Sally Gray91UKActress
  • Green for Danger
  • The Saint in London
26Lionel Murton91UKActor
28Hy Pyke70USActor
October 2Frances Bergen84USActress
2Tamara Dobson59USActress, Makeup Artist
4Tom Bell73UKActor
  • Wish You Were Here
  • Feast of July
9Danièle Huillet70FranceDirector
  • The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach
  • History Lessons
10Jerry Belson68USProducer, Writer
12Gillo Pontecorvo86ItalyDirector, Writer
15Derek Bond86UKActor
16Jack DeLeon81USActor, Miscellaneous
16Tommy Johnson71USMusician
19James Glennon64USCinematographer
19Phyllis Kirk79USActress
20Jane Wyatt96USActress
21Peter Barkworth77UKActor
21Daryl Duke77CanadaDirector
21Milton Selzer87USActor
22B. Constance Barry93USActress
22Arthur Hill84CanadaActor
22Richard Mayes83UKActor
29Roy Barnes70USArt Director, Set Designer
29Nigel Kneale84UKScreenwriter, Actor
31William Franklyn81UKActor, Writer
November 1Adrienne Shelly40USActress, Director
2Leonard Schrader62USScreenwriter
2Milly Vitale73ItalyActress
  • The Seven Little Foys
  • The Juggler
8Basil Poledouris61USComposer
9Wayne Artman69USSound Re-Recording
9Marian Marsh93USActress
  • The Mad Genius
  • The Black Room
10Diana Coupland74UKActress
10Jack Palance87USActor
11Ronnie Stevens81UKActor
14John Hallam65UKActor
16Eustace Lycett91USSpecial Effects, Visual Effects
19Jeremy Slate80USActor
20Robert Altman81USDirector, Screenwriter
20Kevin McClory80IrelandMiscellaneous, Producer
23Betty Comden89USScreenwriter, Lyricist
23Philippe Noiret76FranceActor
24Phyllis Cerf90USActress
  • Vivacious Lady
  • Little Men
27Alan Freeman79UKActor
30Shirley Walker61USComposer, Orchestrator
December 1Sid Raymond97USActor, Voice Actor
4Adam Williams84USActor
5Michael Gilden44USActor
5Gerry Humphreys74UKSound Re-Recording
7Desmond Briscoe81UKSound Effects
8Martha Tilton91USSinger, Actress
  • Swing Hostess
  • Crime, Inc.
9Russell Wade89USActor
12Ivor Barry87USActor, Writer
12Peter Boyle71USActor
14Hallie D'Amore64UKMakeup Artist
18Joseph Barbera95USDirector, Producer
21Lois Hall80USActress
22Philip Pine86USActor
23Charlie Drake81USActor
  • The Plank
  • Sands of the Desert
25James Brown73USSinger, Actor
30Frank Campanella87USActor

Film Debuts


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