Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Titanic
The Titanic 3D rerelease hasn't broken any box office records in North America, where it has taken in an estimated $44.41 million after 12 days. Overseas, however, it's another story.
This weekend (which includes Wed./Thu. in some territories), Titanic 3D topped the international box office, collecting an estimated $98.9 million at 9,889 theaters in 69 territories (representing more than 100 countries), according to Box Office Mojo. In China alone, James Cameron disaster / romantic epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, and veteran Gloria Stuart drew $67 million, an official record for that country (not adjusted for inflation / currency fluctuations).
For comparison's sake: several years before China became a box office powerhouse for Hollywood movies — one likely to surpass the United States in the not-too-distant future — Titanic earned $43.92 million during its initial run in that country. If you take inflation into account (though without adjusting for currency fluctuations), that represents about $62 million today, or about $5 million less than the amount Titanic 3D scored in six days.
Titanic 3D's total foreign gross stands at $157.1 million. Including the original's take, the film's foreign cume is $1.399 billion (not taking inflation into account). Considering inflation (but not currency fluctuations), Titanic's international take has reached $1.9 billion in 2012 US dollars*. Avatar, which had the advantage of 3D/IMAX surcharges, grossed $2.02 billion internationally in early 2010.
In North America, Titanic originally grossed $600.78 million plus $44.41 million this year, or an inflation-adjusted $1.047 billion, for an adjusted worldwide total of $2.947 billion. Avatar's worldwide gross stands at $2.78 billion; if adjusted, then approximately $2.895 billion. In other words, Titanic would be ahead of Avatar after box office grosses are adjusted for inflation — as they always should — and definitely way ahead in terms of ticket sales for the original Titanic didn't have the advantage of 3D surcharges or widespread (and costlier) IMAX screenings. [See also, Titanic vs. Avatar international box office.]
The original Titanic's top international markets were Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.
Titanic stars The Departed / Gangs of New York's Leonardo DiCaprio, The Reader / Revolutionary Road's Kate Winslet, Roman Scandals / The Old Dark House's Gloria Stuart, The Roommate / The Mule's Billy Zane, Midnight in Paris / Chéri's Kathy Bates, The Good Life / Mighty Joe Young's Bill Paxton, and The Host / Gone in Sixty Seconds' Frances Fisher.
Also: Valkyrie / Gandhi's Bernard Hill, Morgan! / A Doll's House's David Warner, The First Wives Club / Milk's Victor Garber, The Usual Suspects / Firestorm's Suzy Amis (James Cameron's wife since 2000), Separate Lives / Chapter 27's Mark Lindsay Chapman, Anaconda / Jumanji's Jonathan Hyde, Sinatra Club / World Trade Center's Danny Nucci, and Sanctum / Fantastic Four's Ioan Gruffudd.
* Note: The US Department of Labor's inflation calculator was used to calculate the international box office take of Titanic and Avatar in 2012 US dollars. Box Office Mojo's annual average domestic movie-ticket cost, taken from the National Association of Theater Owners' annual report, was used to calculate the inflationary effect at the domestic box office.
Kate Winslet / Billy Zane / Titanic 3D photo: Paramount / 20th Century Fox.