The Academy may have long ago lost interest in Peter Jackson's Middle Earth exploits, but the same cannot be said of the readers of UK film magazine Empire. With seven bids, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" leads the nominations for the 2014 Empire Awards, which are entirely reader-voted -- resulting in an unusual list made up equally of prestige Oscar contenders and populist multiplex fare. By way of illuistration, "12 Years a Slave" is just behind with six nods, while "Captain Phillips" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" each notched up five.

Among the Oscar nominees that also impressed the Empire crowd are Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Sally Hawkins and, of course, Jennifer Lawrence -- nominated for both "American Hustle" and "Catching Fire." You'll have noticed less awards-season heat for the likes of Evangeline Lilly and Sam Claflin, both included here. At any rate, I'm delighted that Mia Wasikowska has at least one award nomination to her name for her brilliant work in "Stoker," even if I'm perplexed that it's in the Supporting Actress category.

You can vote for the winners here, and they'll be presented at the Empire Awards ceremony -- always a fun party, that -- in London on March 30. Full list of nominees below; catch up with all the season's honors so far at The Circuit.

Best Film
"Captain Phillips"
"Gravity"
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Director
Paul Greengrass, "Captain Phillips"
Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity"
Peter Jackson, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"
Edgar Wright, "The World’s End"

Best Actress
Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Jennifer Lawrence, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr. Banks"

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
Martin Freeman, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"
James McAvoy, "Filth"

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Evangeline Lilly, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
Lupita Nyong’o, "12 Years a Slave"
Mia Wasikowska, "Stoker"

Best Supporting Actor
Richard Armitage. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
Daniel Brühl, "Rush"
Sam Claflin, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"
Tom Hiddleston, "Thor: The Dark World"

Best Female Newcomer
Elizabeth Debicki, "The Great Gatsby"
Adèle Exarchopoulos, "Blue is the Warmest Color"
Freya Mavor, "Sunshine on Leith"
Lupita Nyong’o, "12 Years a Slave"
Margot Robbie, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Antonia Thomas, "Sunshine on Leith"

Best Male Newcomer
Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
George MacKay, "Sunshine on Leith"
Will Poulter, "We’re the Millers"
Tye Sheridan, "Mud"
Aidan Turner, "The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug"

Best British Film
"Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa"
"Filth"
"Rush"
"Sunshine on Leith"
"The World’s End"

 

Best Comedy
"Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa"
"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"
"This is 40"
"This is the End"
"The World’s End"

Best Horror Film
"The Conjuring"
"A Field In England"
"Evil Dead"
"World War Z"
"You’re Next"

Best Thriller
"Captain Phillips"
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
"Now You See Me"
"Prisoners"
"Trance"

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film
"Gravity"
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
"Pacific Rim"
"Star Trek Into Darkness"