Hollywood producers have injected more drama into the race for the Oscars by choosing two movies as their best films of the year - the space thriller Gravity and the epic 12 Years a Slave.
It is the first time the Producers Guild of America has declared a tie in the 25-year history of its awards. The PGA has correctly chosen the eventual Academy Award winner for best picture for the last six years, including Argo a year ago.
The PGA decision clashes with that of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), which on Saturday chose the corruption caper American Hustle from director David O. Russell for its top prize, best film ensemble cast.
But the SAG has a mixed record on foreshadowing the Oscar best picture with its ensemble cast award, correctly predicting the Academy Award in six of the last 10 years. The highest honours of the film industry from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be handed out on March 2. Voting among the 6,000 members runs from February 14 to 25.
Many PGA members belong to the producers branch of the motion picture academy, hence the frequent alignment of the two groups' top feature film picks, including No Country for Old Men (2007), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The Hurt Locker (2009), The King's Speech (2010), The Artist (2011) and Argo (2012).
Other trophies presented on Sunday night at the guild's 25th annual awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, included Frozen for animated feature, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks for documentary film, Behind the Candelabra for television movie or mini-series, Breaking Bad for television drama series and Modern Family for television comedy series.
Additional reporting by Associated Press