China Turned "Titanic 3D" into The Most Successful Re-Release of All Time

Titanic 3D

I was curious to see how the re-release of "Titanic" would do. Since James Cameron’s film is the second highest grossing of all time domestically, I wondered if it would have the same kind of following as George Lucas’s “Star Wars.”

I didn't think “Titanic 3D” could do the kind of number that "Star Wars (Special Edition)" did in 1997, which was $138M. That’s tops for re-releases.

Turns out I’m right, for the U.S. anyway. “Titanic 3D” looks like it’ll end it’s run with around $60M. That’s not bad, but just kinda average for recent re-releases. It did better than the $43M by “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (in 3D)” and the $48M by “Beauty and the Beast (3D),” but is far behind the $94M by “The Lion King (in 3D).”

James Cameron only spent $18M to add two more dimensions to “Titanic 3D,” so $60M domestic is still pretty good, just not spectacular. You just think for being the former “King of the World” at the box office that it would do better.

I feel like “Star Wars” is just a couple re-releases from eventually overtaking “Titanic” on the all-time domestic list. I’m looking forward to see how the upcoming 3D re-release will do.

In foreign markets, it’s a whole different story though. “Titanic 3D” has made an incredible $260M so far, with China accounting for nearly half of that. What’s even more impressive with China’s $120M take is that it’s almost three times what the original release did there in 1998. Back then, there weren’t nearly as many theaters as there are now.

“The Lion King (in 3D)” and “Star Wars (Special Edition)” weren’t able to get anywhere close to “Titanic 3D”’s gaudy figure in foreign markets. They did $118M and $81M, respectively.

Worldwide, here’s how they rank: “Titanic 3D” $317M, “Star Wars (Special Edition)” $256M, “The Lion King (in 3D)” $175M. If you account for inflation, “Star Wars (Special Edition)” would probably still be on top.

So I’m both right and wrong. Domestically, “Titanic 3D”’s performance was just mediocre. Worldwide, China turned “Titanic 3D” into the most successful re-release of all time (not accounting for inflation).

Box office data compiled from

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