LOS ANGELES — Just a handful of days before Barack Obama takes office, change was in the air at Wednesday night's 35th Annual People's Choice Awards, as evidenced by host Queen Latifah's opening monologue urging stars to scream, "Yes, we can!" But some things remained the same in 2009: namely, the popularity of Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Carrie Underwood and "The Dark Knight."

"It's very exciting," "Dark Knight" producer Charles Roven marveled, moments before his blockbuster won all five of the awards for which it was nominated. "It's always incredibly rewarding when the people vote."

Roven accompanied "Knight" talents Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart and Christopher Nolan onstage to accept awards for Favorite Action Movie, Favorite Cast, Favorite On Screen Match Up (for Bale and Heath Ledger) and the big enchilada, Favorite Movie.

"Thank you very, very much," Bale said to the crowd while accepting the awards. "And on behalf of all of the cast from the movie, thank you very much to the fans. Here's to Heath. Thank you."

Unlike some of the other People's Choice winners, "Knight" is the kind of rare film that is taking home trophies in both critical and populist ceremonies, a fact that wasn't lost on Roven. "We've had a really nice week so far," he said. "We were nominated for a Writers Guild Award for adapted screenplay, and a Producers Guild Award, and our DP was nominated for a Cinematographers Award. ... I've grown up with comics. Graphic novels and comics are great literature, they're great literary vehicles. And to be able to translate that to the big screen and turn it into something epic was done remarkably well by Chris Nolan, and all of us who worked on the film."

The world-famous L.A. traffic delayed several stars from the show (Ellen DeGeneres presented an award for Kate Hudson, explaining that she was running late), but that didn't stop the big night from showering awards on the actors and musicians. Reese Witherspoon took home the Favorite Female Movie Star award for letting a baby barf on her in "Four Christmases," and "House" star Hugh Laurie and a few dozen of his cast and crew grabbed Favorite TV Drama.

"This is the fans voting, which is great," a noticeably taller, older-looking Dakota Fanning beamed, as the "Secret Life of Bees" star walked the red carpet before the show. "I'm presenting, and the movie is nominated two times tonight."

Once inside the Shrine Auditorium, Fanning sat alongside such other stars as Robin Williams, Kid Rock and Witherspoon and was treated to an ear-pleasing, high-note-hitting performance by Underwood. "Bees" took home the awards for Favorite Independent Movie and Favorite Movie Drama. Underwood grabbed Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Country Song (for "Last Name"), while the incomparable Chris Brown took home Favorite Male Singer and Favorite Combined Forces for his collaboration with Jordin Sparks on "No Air." Brown addressed the crowd live via satellite from Dublin.

"It's all about the fans, and they're the ones that picked it," "27 Dresses" star Malin Akerman insisted after scooping up Favorite Comedy Movie with Katherine Heigl. "It's fun, because every time you see the fans, they're excited. And that gets you excited. It's good to know they like what we're doing."

Other winners included Kid Rock (Favorite Rock Song), Hudson (Favorite Leading Lady), Smith (Favorite Male Movie Star and Favorite Male Action Star) and "Wall-E" (Favorite Family Movie). Britney Spears lost Favorite Scene Stealing Guest Star to Robin Williams, but super-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie added some new trophies to their family collection: Favorite Leading Man and Favorite Female Action Star.

"It feels fantastic; it's a popular award," "Bees" winner Paul Bettany said. "There's something really special about having the audience vote for you. I was just speaking to Gina [Prince-Bythewood], the director, about it. We all feel really honored to be nominated."

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