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Titanic Opens Big at the Box Office, But Not Nearly Big Enough

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | April 1, 2013 | Comments ()


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There was a huge battle over the weekend between Titanic and Pierce Brosnan's second James Bond installment, Tomorrow Never Dies, and while Titanic ultimately took the edge, it likely wasn't enough to put a dent in the huge production and marketing costs of James Cameron's epic three hour film.

Titanic opened with an impressive $28 million, good enough for the second biggest December of all time, but as you know, December is not a traditionally great month for movie releases. Up until last weekend's release of Scream 2 ($39 million), only one December movie had ever broken the teens (Beavis and Butthead Do America's $20.9 million). The Titanic opening was also the best opening ever for a 3-hour film ever, but given the soaring budget of Titanic and the inability to screen the film very many times each day due to its runtime, Titanic will have considerable difficulty breaking even on its $200 million budget (plus millions more in marketing). Cameron probably should have acceded to studio executives' demands to edit out an hour Titanic to boost its long-term prospects. Like most blockbusters, Titanic can expect to see 40 or 50 percent drops in subsequent weeks, and end up with around $150 million at the box office, good but not enough to put the most expensive movie of all time in the black.

Unfortunately, the careers of the talented Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio may forever be linked to this box-office disappointment. With only The Man in the Iron Mask ahead for DiCaprio, 1994's Oscar nominee's career may stall, while Winslet will be reduced to eye candy in generic action pics.

The 18th Bond installment Tomorrow Never Dies came in second place over the the weekend with $25 million, and should be headed toward a $100 million plus domestic run, more in line with its $125 million budget (given the popularity of Bond internationally, it should triple its box-office gross and end up as the biggest international hit of the year, before it's all said and done). After the success of Tomorrow and Golden Eye, Brosnan has rejuvenated the Bond franchise; it's unlikely anyone will come along as well suited to the character as the former star of "Remington Steele."

In at number three, Scream 2 added another $13 million to bring its total to $55 million. The Wes Craven franchise will probably run for years. Neve Campbell has a long and successful career ahead of her.

In at number four was Mouse Hunt, the directorial debut of Gore Verbinski. The $6 million gross, however, probably won't do much to escalate his career. Rounding out the top five, Robin Williams Flubber made $4 million to bring that movie's total to a tepid $64 million. I'm sure it's just a temporary hiccup in the box-office career of one of the most successful stars of the decade.

In limited release, Good Will Hunting -- also starring Robin Williams -- continued to perform modestly, expanding to 11 theaters and adding $18,000 per location. There's been a lot of buzz about up-and-comers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, although it's unlikely that Affleck will ever top his performance in Mallrats. (Kevin Smith 4 Ever!)



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • wsapnin

    Hey, didn't he play that retarded kid in that Johnny Depp movie about the fat mom?

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Is Leonardo DiCaprio age proof, or something? I'll bet Kate Winslet has voodoo dolls dedicated to expressing anguish and rage over his perpetually bloat-free physique. Also, Pocohantas and John Smith were never an item, she was like, twelve when they met. Geez.

  • Tinkerville

    It's really too bad that My Heart Will Go On isn't getting much radio play. It's a beautiful song, I'd love to hear more of it.

  • ViciousTrollop

    Scream 2 is the best movie ever!!!!!!!
    My Mom and Dad know how much I loved Scream so they totally drove me over the border to Buffalo so I could see the sequel! I can't see it here in Canada 'cause I'm not old enough. Hello! I just turned 13!!!! I'm like SO old enough to see it. It's the 90s, get with the program!!!!

  • Puddin

    U r dum. Titanic was sooooo good. I cride SO hard. They shld have made the moovie without the boat sink. I LUV LEO AND HEEEZ MY BYFRND!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  • Mrs. Julien

    Sorry, this is off topic, but I'm desperate and that Paperclip thing was no help:

    Can anyone tell me how to disable that animated cat thing that randomly drops down your screen and starts walking around? It scares the sh^t out of me every time.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    You need to cram a cheeseburger into your CD-ROM drive. You have a CD-ROM drive, right? If you don't, break the burger into little pieces and put it in your floppy. The point is, the cat wants a cheeseburger.

    ETA: Three inch floppy. I didn't feel like it needed to be said, but better safe than sorry. I mean, who uses the five inch anymore for anything other than computer lab ultimate frisbee?

  • Maguita NYC

    Where is that again?

    All I see is my pop-up coffee mug holder.

  • Mrs. Julien

    You're a floppy.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    If you have a Zip drive, that'll work, too. The goal is really just to get that cheeseburger into your computer so the cat is happy. You don't want a grumpy cat.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Grumpy cats are the worst.

  • Scarecrow Boat

    DiCaprio is sure to win an Oscar. It's probably not good for an actor to win one so early in his career, but he totally deserves it. Besides,a movie that explodes the way this one looks to will overshadow his entire career. This was probably his last chance to work with a really big director.

  • That girl who played Rose was so brave for getting naked. Hopefully she's enough of a star now she'll never have to do that again.

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    Well, he's at least getting a nomination for Titanic!

  • John G.

    I just upgraded my internet connection to 56k. Woo Hoo! The images on this page are almost downloaded.

  • Prodigy 4 Eva!!!

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    AOL?

  • Mrs. Julien

    We went on a boat cruise this weekend. One of my friends climbed up on the railing and shouted, "I'm the king of the world!". It was hilarious. We were laughing our asses off. That never gets old.

  • psemophile

    I wept many a manly tears while watching Titanic. It's not as good as Terminator 2, but it'll do. Sad that this film will probably screw up at the BO.

  • Eeeeeeeeeeeeh! Titanic wuz the best movie evar! I'm, like, still sobbing. Seeing it again as soon as I get my allowance for the week. Thank God tickets are only $1.75 at my piece of crap local two-screen theater - probably I'll have enough cash left to start saving up for the large-size Leo poster. Stacy is gonna be soooo jealous!

  • Mrs. Julien

    I just love the way he squints.

  • He's, like, pensive but not whole-scale academically intimidatingly pensive, like just sort of smoldering pensive. Dreamboat pensive. Rowr.

    (I submitted that first sentence for this week's vocab homework and my teacher totally did not get it. Obviously, I should've included a picture.)

  • TenaciousJP

    The ship sinks.

    /SPOILERS

  • QueeferSutherland

    Don't understand why these Hollywood suits keep trying to make DiCaprio happen. He floated on some wood and died. That doesn't mean he's going to have a huge career, suits. "DiCaprio the A-lister." ROFLGTFO!

    You want to see a future star? I've got five words for you: Freddie Prinze Junior, Wing Commander. Dude is primed to explode.

  • PerpetualIntern

    Dude, SPOILER!

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    Yeah, I read the other day in 'Variety' this producer saying that DiCaprio would be perfect for Scorsese. Can you imagine that? Plus, it's not like Marty is going anywhere right now.

  • Patricia Francisco

    til I looked at the draft for $7648, I be certain that my mother in law could actualey earning money part-time at there labtop.. there aunt has done this 4 less than thirteen months and at present cleared the morgage on there cottage and purchased a brand new Renault 5. we looked here, . http://www.GoogleProjectsGetPo...

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    By the way guys, this reminds me, have you heard about any dethroned Nigerian Prince? Is just that I sent him 300 bucks

  • That Neve Campbell is so talented! I see Oscar in her future.

  • Skyler Durden

    There’s been a lot of buzz about up-and-comers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, although it’s unlikely that Affleck will ever top his performance in Mallrats. (Kevin Smith 4 Ever!)

    I just threw up a little.

  • Mrs. Julien

    We saw Titanic this past weekend. Did anyone else notice that for about half of the movie Rose just repeats everything Jack says to her:

    "Hold on, Rose!"
    "Okay, I'll hold on, Jack!".

    Thank God, he told her to do that AND to hold her breath when she went under water. Too bad, he didn't say:

    "GET OFF THE DOOR, ROSE!"
    "I'M GETTING OFF THE DOOR, JACK!"

  • Maguita NYC

    Cameron loves reminding us how a proper lady behaves.

  • chanohack

    DON'T YOU DARE MAKE FUN OF THEM. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF YOU MET THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS AND HE GAVE YOU EVERYTHING AND SAVED YOU IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE AND THEN YOU LOST HIM AND THEN SOMEONE LIKE YOU JUST LAUGHED AT YOU!!!!!1

    Jack + Rose 4ever

  • Wembley

    Did anyone notice how BIG that door was?
    It seems to me that there would have been room for both of them.
    Am I the only one who noticed that?

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I had the misfortune of sitting through Titanic this past weekend. It's a bloated beast of a movie. Cameron could definitely have cut at least an hour of it to tighten it up and make it watchable. Definitely not as good as T2 or even True Lies.

  • He had something with all the blue people in the water at the end though. Maybe he should run with that as his next project.

  • Hell yeah! You know what this means, right? I'm totally going to go see another screening of Titanic dressed as one of the blue people! (5th time!!!) My mom will be so proud when she hears that I blue myself for Leo!

  • Mrs. Julien

    Ya, because people want to see a movie with "blue people".

  • DataAngel

    There's already The Smurfs. Ooh, you know what would be awesome? A live-action Smurfs!

  • As long as the Smurfs movie draws very heavily from "Dances With Wolves"

  • DataAngel

    Screw You, Man! "Mouse Hunt" is going to become one of the biggest movies in American Cinema History! Everyone involved with it is going to be a huge HUGE success. I can just feel it!

  • I know, right? I saw it last weekend with Stacy's boyfriend. Suck it, Stacy.

  • e jerry powell

    And then comes the real travesty: G.I. Joe took $51 million over the four-day weekend. Yick. I wish that was the April Fool's joke.

    Oh, look, Tyler Perry's latest excretion took $22 million for the weekend. That's not an April Fool's joke, either.

    On the brighter side, a Stephanie Meyer project only took in $11 million. Not Twilight numbers. There is hope for the world.

  • Skyler Durden

    Speaking of which, hey Pajiba, where is the Temptation review?

    That shit was bananas.

    B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

  • Wembley

    Gwen Steffani did the soundtrack?
    Odd, yet daring choice.

  • e jerry powell

    HOLLA BACK

  • Buck Forty

    a word of advice for you Dustin: do not bite the hand that feeds you. If you continue to speak in less than glowing terms about any and all that Hollywood has to offer then your fledgling site will flounder, which would be a shame because I love your rock n roll attitude.
    And more photos of Anna Nicole Smith please... a little T&A wouldn't hurt your hits either.

  • e jerry powell

    Speak for yourself.

    Plus which, since when is Anna Nicole a little T&A? Anna Nicole is not and never has been a little bit of anything. That is one beef-eating woman.

  • I'mNotTheGreatest

    Did I just time travel?

  • Batesian

    Check today's date.

  • I'mNotTheGreatest

    Oct 26 1985

  • Batesian

    Make sure you have enough gas.

  • A. Smith

    ...and from the looks of it plutonium

  • Batesian

    Figured he's back from whenever, so should be all set with a Mr Fusion. If not, though, you're right. I hear Libyan terrorists can hook a fella up.

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