December 20, 1997


I think a lot of people went to see Titanic expecting it to the a bloated mess: even in 1997's infancy of the Internet age, the word of mouth on James Cameron's latest movie was all bad. Titanic went over schedule and over budget, and the Hollywood gossip fiends were happy to draw metaphorical parallels with the ill-fated titular cruise liner. DiCaprio and Winslet were not movie stars. A big James Cameron fan, I went to see Titanic because it was too big and expensive to ignore. The result: an amazing, moving, spectacular film... with some of the worst dialogue ever.
It screened in US theaters for a ridiculous 39 weeks, the theaters played their prints to tatters with repeat business, and the final US box office totaled over 600 million dollars, a total unrivaled, even as ticket prices have increased 43% in the following decade. All this for a 3 hour movie, which by definition only received half as many screenings per day as a 90 minute movie. (Flagship Falmouth Cinemas)