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TITANIC Box Office: Behind THE HUNGER GAMES

Titanic movie James Cameron
James Cameron's Titanic movie

Titanic 3D was the no. 2 movie on the domestic box office chart on Wednesday, April 4, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. Directed by the Marianas Trench's James Cameron, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Titanic 3D collected $4.37 million at 2,674 theaters, landing right behind The Hunger Games' $4.6 million at 4,137 locations.

Comparisons are hard to make. The Hunger Games is in 2D, which means cheaper movie ticket prices, but it's playing at 1,500 more theaters than Titanic 3D. The Hunger Games has also been around for 13 days; Titanic 3D opened on Tuesday, earning approximately $325,000 at various preview screenings.

Directed by Gary Ross, The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson.

At no. 3, Jonathan Liebesman / Sam Worthington / Ralph Fiennes' Wrath of the Titans grossed $2.25 million, followed by Julia Roberts / Armie Hammer / Lily Collins' Mirror Mirror with $1.66 million and Channing Tatum / Jonah Hill's 21 Jump Street's $1.45 million.

Paramount is (officially) estimating Titanic 3D will bring in $20 to $25 million by Friday. 20th Century Fox is handling the film's international release.

Released in late December 1997, the original Titanic went on to gross $1.8 billion worldwide. For those who pretend inflation doesn't exist, Cameron's melodrama was the all-time top-grossing movie until Cameron's own Avatar, released in December 2009. In fact, neither movie actually sold more tickets than Clark Gable / Vivien Leigh's Gone with the Wind, George Lucas' Star Wars, Robert Wise / Julie Andrews' The Sound of Music, or Steven Spielberg's Jaws, to name a few.

Paramount, Fox, and Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment have reportedly spent more than a year and $18 million on Titanic's full restoration and 2D-to-3D conversion.

In early 1998, Titanic was nominated for a record-tying 14 Academy Awards. (Its predecessor was Joseph L. Mankiewicz / Bette Davis / Anne Baxter's 1950 Best Picture winner All About Eve.) Cameron's movie went on to receive 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, thus tying the record of William Wyler / Charlton Heston's 1959 epic Ben-Hur. (In early 2004, Peter Jackson / Viggo Mortensen / Elijah Wood's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, would also win 11 Oscars.)

Kate Winslet, veteran Gloria Stuart (Roman Scandals, The Invisible Man, The Old Dark House), and the Titanic's make-up crew were the only Titanic losers: Winslet lost to Helen Hunt in James L. Brooks' As Good as It Gets, Stuart lost to Kim Basinger in Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential, while Tommy Lee Jones / Will Smith's Men in Black won for Best Make-Up.

Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron's original screenplay were bypassed by the Academy. Else, Titanic could have boasted a record-smashing 16 Oscar nominations.

In addition to DiCaprio, Winslet, and Stuart, Titanic features The Roommate / The Mule's Billy Zane, Misery / Dolores Claiborne's Kathy Bates (as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown"), Haywire / Shanghai Calling's Bill Paxton, The Host / Gone in Sixty Seconds' Frances Fisher, 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 (Cameron's wife since 2000), Separate Lives / Chapter 27's Mark Lindsay Chapman, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, and Sanctum / Fantastic Four's Ioan Gruffudd.

Titanic 3D photo: Paramount / 20th Century Fox.

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