The Producers Guild of America chose the four films, along with the Johnny Cash film biography "Walk the Line," as contenders for its top honor, the Darryl F. Zanuck producer of the year award.
The ensemble drama "Crash" and the Edward R. Murrow story "Good Night, and Good Luck" were nominated by the Writers Guild of America for the year's best original screenplay. The other contenders were the boxing flick "Cinderella Man," the sex comedy "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and the divorce drama "The Squid and the Whale."
The Writers Guild nominated the cowboy romance "Brokeback Mountain" and the Truman Capote tale "Capote" for best adapted screenplay, along with the murder thriller "The Constant Gardener," the mobster tale "A History of Violence" and the oil industry saga "Syriana."
The nominations continue an awards-season trend toward intimate, independent stories over big-studio productions. While the Writers Guild often nominates such smaller pictures, the Producers Guild tends to embrace splashier movies, including recent winners such as "The Aviator," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "Chicago."
This time around, the Producers Guild overlooked such acclaimed blockbusters as "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and "King Kong."
Independent movies dominate the lineup for the Golden Globes on Jan. 16, where "Brokeback Mountain" leads contenders with seven nominations. For the first time, all five films nominated for best drama at the Golden Globes were smaller-budgeted movies shot for under $30 million.
Studios did rule the Producers Guild choices for best animated film. The nominees: "Chicken Little," "Madagascar," "Robots," " Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit."
Wednesday's nominations came a day before Hollywood's most prominent trade groups, the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild of America, were to announce their nominees for 2005's best film achievements.
The flurry of guild picks were the last major film nominations before Academy Awards nominees are announced Jan. 31.
The Producers Guild presents its awards Jan. 22, while the Writers Guild honors will be handed out Feb. 4.
On Tuesday, the Writers Guild announced its documentary nominees, which included the runaway hit "March of the Penguins." Other documentary contenders were "Cowboy Del Amor," "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," "The Fall of Fujimori" and "Street Fight."