Before its release, Todd left the Cinerama Company to develop a widescreen process which would eliminate some of Cinerama's flaws.  The result was the Todd-AO process, designed by the American Optical Company.  The process was first used commercially for the successful 1955 movie adaptation of Oklahoma! (starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones ). Todd later produced the movie for which he is best remembered, Michael Todd's Around the World in 80 Days , which debuted in cinemas on October 17, 1956. Costing $6 million to produce, the movie earned $16 million at the box office. In 1957, Around the World in 80 Days won the Best Picture Academy Award .
The film has a "Certified Fresh" rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 75 reviews with an average rating of out of 10, with the consensus concluding, "Though it suffers from excessive length and ambition, director Minghella's adaptation of the Michael Ondaatje novel is complex, powerful, and moving."  The film also has a rating of 87% on Metacritic , indicating "universal acclaim".  Chicago Sun Times critic Roger Ebert gave the film a 4/4 rating, saying "it's the kind of movie you can see twice – first for the questions, the second time for the answers".  In his movie guide, Leonard Maltin rated the film 3 1 ⁄ 2 out of 4, calling it "a mesmerizing adaptation" of Ondaatje's novel, saying "Fiennes and Scott Thomas are perfectly matched", and he concluded by calling the film "an exceptional achievement all around".