The reason why James Cameron made ‘Titanic’: How much money did the movie make at the box office?
The movie was a huge box office success, which won eleven Oscars at the 1998 Academy Awards Ceremony, but why did he make it?
In 1997 when James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ was released, it wasn’t expected to do as well as it did, or have the overwhelming praise it has received over the years.
With a love story set on a doomed passenger liner ship, the movie follows Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt Bukater played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
The young stars, who were in their early twenties at the time of filming, each made a name for themselves following the success of the film, leading successful careers in the years since the movie premiered.
Despite the film’s success, the movie had a difficult creative process, with budget increases, longer than expected shooting days, and requests to make the film shorter, which all made the movie a gamble for movie studios to invest in. Here’s how it made its mark on the world of cinema.
How much money did ‘Titanic’ make at the box office?
With an original budget of $110 million, the cost of creating a new sound stage complete with horizon tanks to emulate the look of the ocean pushed the budget to $200 million and later to $295 million.
Shooting was extended from 138 to 160 days with a delayed release from July 1997 to December, forcing Paramount and Fox studios to agree, having already invested so much into the film.
The final film spanned just over three hours, with no A-List celebrities on the credits. Cameron ignored requests to shorten the movie, and went so far as to forfeit his salary and percentage of gross (an estimated $8,000,000) in order to give the movie the green light to be shown at 194 minutes.
The result? The movie opened by earning $28,638,131 during its first weekend and grossed over $1.8 billion worldwide.
Why did James Cameron make the movie?
The director of Titanic is an interesting mix of artist and scientist, as he explains in an interview with Playboy magazine in 2009. His father was an electrical engineer and his mother was an artist and a nurse. As the world knows, he inherited his mother’s creative side, but he has always been fascinated with science as well.
In the interview Cameron explains what it’s like going down to visit the Titanic shipwreck: “But every time I close the hatch of a submersible I say to whoever is gathered to see us off, ‘I’ll see you in the sunshine.’Of course there’s no sunshine down there, so to say that means you’re coming back to the surface.”
Cameron explains that he has spoken at NASA seminars about the risk involved in his deep-ocean expeditions and how he takes pride in the importance of safety. “My films have been relatively injury-free—well below the industry average—because we have a pretty rigorous approach to safety,” he stated.
He explained to Playboy that his intention was to make enough money to dive down to the Titanic shipwreck: “I’ll make a Hollywood movie to pay for an expedition and do the same thing,” he said. “Titanic was about “fuck you” money. It came along at a point in my life when I said, I can make movies until I’m 80, but I can’t do expedition stuff when I’m 80.”