Despite being largely shunned at the Academy Awards earlier this month, the giant monkey movie beat Oscar-winner Crash to the accolade, as voted by the British public.
But the racial drama did not go totally unrecognized, with star Thandie Newton hailed as Best Actress. Johnny Depp's inspired performance in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory earned him the male equivalent.
Elsewhere, the cast of Harry Potter were honored for their Outstanding Contribution to the British film industry. The movie franchise, worth more than $3.4 billion worldwide, was represented by teen star Daniel Radcliffe, who picked up the award for his role as the boy wizard.
Movie legend Tony Curtis flew all the way from Los Angeles to personally accept a Lifetime Achievement Award - the first major award of his career.
Sir Roger Moore, his co-star in cult TV series The Persuaders, was on hand to present the prize.
The ceremony was held in the Hilton London Metropole, with British comedian Bill Bailey hosting.
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