The Dark Knight is the frontrunner for the 2009 Saturn awards with 11 nominations.

Christopher Nolan's sequel to Batman Begins has earned nearly $1 billion (£723.4 million) at the worldwide box office and is leading the field for the prestigious science-fiction/fantasy/horror film awards.

The Dark Knight, an Oscar winner in the best supporting actor category for the late Heath Ledger, is up for best action/adventure/thriller film while lead actor Christian Bale is named in the best actor category, alongside Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), Will Smith (Hancock) and Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Iron Man have nine and eight nominations, respectively, while second world war thriller Valkyrie is nominated six times.

In the television categories, long-running drama Lost is leading the pack with 11 nominations, with Heroes following on six.

Battlestar Galactica and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles both have four nominations.

At the 34th annual ceremony, held in June last year, Watchmen director Zack Snyder's 300 won the best action/adventure/thriller film prize while Cloverfield was named best sci-fi film.

The awards, founded by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror in 1972, will be held on June 25th.

11/03/2009 12:35:08