TITANIC : Countdown to $600 Million
Friday, August 28, 1998 - 3:20PM EDT
Near, far, wherever you are, chances are you have seen the box office behemoth Titanic at least once. On Thursday, August 27th, in its 252nd day of release, Titanic crossed the unbelievable mark of $600 million in domestic ticket sales. It took a full 36 weeks for the James Cameron action-romance to reach the never-before-reached box office level and Paramount Pictures, the film's domestic distributor, could not be happier.
Hitting $600 million caps off a historic run at the box office which nobody could have imagined. After opening at number one with $28.6M in December, Titanic amassed its first $100 million in just 12 days. One by one it leapt over each hurdle reaching its last milestone, the $500 million mark, while still at the top of the charts on March 26, its 98th day of release. Fueled by strong reviews, a beloved story, amazing action sequences, romantic music, hot young stars, eleven Oscars, and four Golden Globe Awards, Titanic destroyed everything in its path by spending a record 15 consecutive weekends at number one. In addition, the ocean disaster film spent a total of 20 weekends in the top five and 26 (half a year) in the top ten.
Paramount was not the only winner with Titanic though. Twentieth Century Fox, the original studio bankrolling the picture, retained international distribution rights and demolished records all across the globe. According to the studio, Titanic's current overseas cumulative total stands at $1,196,128,829. Add in Paramount's $600,038,488 from the United States and Canada, and the motion picture's total worldwide gross comes to a staggering $1,796,167,317. Fox's overseas figures include $184.6M from Japan, $127M in Germany, $126M in France, $113.6M in the United Kingdom, $69.1M in Brazil, $66.8M in Italy, $43.7M in Spain, $42.3M in China, and $38.6M in Australia. The studio released Titanic in 57 overseas markets and broke the all-time box office record in each and every one of them. If that wasn't enough, Titanic almost doubled the previous record for worldwide gross which was $913 million by Jurassic Park.
But Titanic was not satisfied with just box office records. The Oscar-winning soundtrack, with original music from composer James Horner, was a giant too. It spent 16 straight weeks as the best-selling album in the country and has reportedly shipped 25 million units around the world. This week, the motion picture's second soundtrack album, Back to Titanic, hit stores and should do brisk business as well.
With next week's release of Titanic on home video, the film's heart will go on to set new records again. The world's love affair with James Cameron's Titanic seems endless as millions of fans just can't seem to get enough of Jack and Rose. Relive the excitement of the film's opening by reading the Weekend Box Office column for the weekend of December 19-21, 1997. They said Titanic would sink, but the $200M film went on to do the impossible and gross nine times that amount in theatrical receipts proving that anything is possible at the box office.
It has been quite a road for Titanic since opening last December. Before moviegoers could even see the film it was surrounded by negative press that focused on the enormously overbudget production, delays in its release date, and the movie's reliance on unproven stars. Titanic beat the odds and opened at number one, beating Tomorrow Never Dies which bowed day and date, with a mammoth $28.6M over its debut weekend. But that was only a drop in the bucket. Movie lovers across the United States and Canada went on to give the James Cameron film two $30M+ weekends, ten $20M+ weekends, sixteen $10M+ weekends, and an amazing thirty weekends with over $1 million in ticket sales.
With Titanic reaching another box office milestone, the motion picture is preparing to become one of the biggest-selling home videos in history. Paramount Home Video is expected to ship over 20 million copies of the double-cassette this week as Titanic officially hits the marketplace next Tuesday, September 1st. The laserdisc of Titanic will follow on October 13 in both widescreen and conventional "pan-and-scan" versions and carries a retail price of $49.98. No plans for a DVD release have been announced yet.
Twentieth Century Fox International Home Video has announced release dates for Titanic on video for several overseas markets. These areas include South Korea (September 19), Australia (September 30), Italy (October 1), France and the Benelux nations (October 7), Mexico (October 14), Brazil (October 19), the United Kingdom (October 21), and Germany (October 22). The Titanic video will be released at a sell-through price in all markets except for South Korea where it will be available at a rental price until it goes sell-through in December.
Written by Gitesh Pandya