The popularity of The Dark Knight has been underlined at the People's Choice awards after it claimed five prizes, including best movie.

The Warner Bros release is the fourth highest-grossing film of all time with $995 million and was victorious in all categories in which it was nominated.

As well as taking the best movie award, The Dark Knight's stars Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger were named best on-screen match-up with further success in the best ensemble category.

And the Batman Begins sequel was also presented with the best superhero movie and best action movie awards at the Los Angeles ceremony on Wednesday January 7th.

Bale accepted the awards on the cast's behalf, dedicating them to the memory of Ledger.

Will Smith was named both best male action star and best male movie star while Four Christmases star Reese Witherspoon was named favourite female movie star.

"A couple of years ago, I won a great award for singing in a movie," she said as she accepted her award, in reference to her 2005 Oscar win for Walk the Line.

"This year I won an award for having a baby throw up on me."

A further comedic acceptance speech came from Ellen Degeneres, who took the favourite talkshow host prize.

"I wish I could share this with you. I could throw it on the ground and smash it into a million pieces, and give each one of you a little piece of it," she told the audience at the Shrine Auditorium.

"But that's violent, and that's probably why you voted for me, because I'm not violent."

Other winners included Wall-E - for best family movie, The Secret Life of Bees - for best independent film - and 27 Dresses, named best movie comedy.

TV winners included Dancing With The Stars - the US version of Strictly Come Dancing - The Simpsons and Two And A Half Men.

08/01/2009 09:22:02