The Alfonso Cuaron film "Gravity" and the harrowing historical drama "12 Years a Slave" shared the top prize Sunday at the Producers Guild of America (PGA), a first for the awards.
In the past six years the winner of the PGA then picked up the Oscar for best film at the Academy Awards, as Hollywood's prize-giving season moves into full flow.
But it was the first time the big prize at the PGA, in Los Angeles, has been shared in its 25-year history, according to Variety magazine.
"12 Years a Slave," about a free black man sold into slavery in 1840s America, and "Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock, who plays an astronaut stranded in space with George Clooney, were already among the Oscar frontrunners.
The 3D space spectacular tops the Oscars nominations list with 10 nods, along with David O. Russell's stylish crime caper "American Hustle".
The Oscars, the climax of Tinseltown's glitzy awards season, is on March 2.
"American Hustle" won the top film prize at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards on Saturday, having already won big at the Golden Globes, where it took best musical/comedy film and two acting awards.
Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" took the coveted best drama prize at the Golden Globes.
Other PGA winners included the TV movie with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, "Behind the Candelabra," the documentary on WikiLeaks, "We Steal Secrets," and the Disney animated film "Frozen."
In the television categories, highly acclaimed comedy "Modern Family" and drama series "Breaking Bad" took top honors.