Vincenzo Natali and Doug Taylor, director and co-writer respectively of sci-fi thriller Splice, have been awarded the second annual Telefilm Canada (TFC) Golden Box Office Award and a prize of $40,855 (C$40,000).

The film, starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as genetics engineers, won the award by grossing $2.1m at the Canadian box office through eOne Entertainment, becoming the highest grossing English-language Canadian film funded by TFC in 2010.

Internationally, the film grossed $26.9m, including, said producer Steven Hoban, $16.4m from the US, where Warner Bros distributed.

The award was presented by TFC executive director Carolle Brabant, who said at a press conference that the organisation wanted to “recognise the directing and script talent behind Canadian cinema success stories…that have universal appeal.”

Brabant said later that the award is in keeping with TFC’s new emphasis on promotion and revamped “success measurement criteria” that will take more into account than simply domestic box office.

A film’s “overall success should also consider alternative viewings such as DVD and VOD,” Brabant said. “It should also take other factors into account such as critical acclaim, recognition at national and international festivals and [the film’s] contribution to Canada’s economy.” The project’s financial return to TFC will continue to be a factor, she said.