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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Seren Morris

Titanic: 25 facts for 25th anniversary as film set to be re-released for Valentine’s Day

Stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1997 epic

(Picture: Reuters)

Titanic is returning to the big screen next month to celebrate 25 years since the film’s release.

The film will be rereleased on February 10, giving film fans will get another chance to relive Jack and Rose’s epic love story.

James Cameron’s record-breaking film, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, first premiered in 1997, but still has had a grip on fans.

In fact, very few films have outranked Titanic in terms of earnings, although another of Cameron’s films, Avatar, knocked Titanic from the top spot.

In honour of the iconic film’s 25th anniversary, here are 25 facts about Titanic that you may not have known.

25 facts about the Titanic film

1. It was the film to make $1 billion at the box office

Leo as Jack Dawson and Kate as Rose DeWitt Bukater (Allstar / Cinetext / 20th Century Fox)

Titanic made around $1.8 billion (£1.45 bn) when it was first released in 1997. It is currently the third-highest-grossing film, only being beaten by Avengers: Endgame (2019) and Avatar (2009).

2. It was the second film to make $2 billion at the box office

Kate Winslet as Rose in the James Cameron-directed film (20th Century Fox)

Titanic was also the second film to make $2 billion (£1.6 bn) at the box office, which it did when it was rereleased in 2012 for the centenary of the ship’s sinking. Since then, six films claim have passed the $2 bn mark.

3. Titanic tied with All About Eve for most Oscar nominations

Titanic was nominated for 14 Oscars. (Timothy A Clary /AFP / Getty Images)

Titanic was nominated for 14 Oscars, tying with All About Eve (1950). Only La La Land (2016) has since received as many nominations.

4. Titanic tied with Ben-Hur for most Oscars

John Landau (L) won Best Picture and James Cameron Best Picture, Director, and Editor (Hector Mata / AFP via Getty Images)

Titanic won 11 Oscars, tying with Ben-Hur (1959). Only The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, has won as many since.

5. James Cameron is fascinated by shipwrecks

Director James Cameron’s inspiration for Titanic came from his fascination with shipwrecks. He told The Independent: “Besides film-making, the underwater world has always been my other love.

“So, if I get an opportunity to be able to put the two together and to make a film on an underwater subject, then I can’t be happier. If I had to choose one over the other, I would probably dive.”

6. A number of actresses were considered for the role of Rose

Kate Winslet won the role of Rose. (Ian West/PA) (Ian West / PA)

Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Gabrielle Anwar, and Reese Witherspoon were all considered for the role of Rose, which eventually went to Kate Winslet, after she passionately advocated for the role.

7. A number of actors were considered for the role of Jack

Leonardo DiCaprio famously played Jack (David Parry / PA)

Matthew McConaughey, Chris O’Donnell, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Sisto, and Tom Cruise were considered for the role of Jack, but Leonardo DiCaprio won the part.

8. The film portrays historical characters

Although Titanic is not intended to be historically accurate, characters based on real people who were on the Titanic feature in the film.

For example, Kathy Bates plays “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, a real-life American socialite who is remembered for helping passengers into the lifeboats and trying to rescue survivors after the ship had sunk.

9. The film crew shot the real Titanic shipwreck 12 times

Undated artist impression showing the shipwreck of the luxury passenger liner (AFP / Getty Images)

James Cameron and the film crew went diving to the Titanic shipwreck before he had even written the screenplay. Real footage of the ship features in the film.

10. Director James Cameron drew Jack’s nude picture of Rose

James Cameron drew Jack’s sketch of Rose (C Flanigan / Getty Images)

When Rose famously asks Jack to paint her like one of his French girls, the drawing he comes up with was actually sketched by Cameron (while she wore a bathing suit). In 2011, the drawing was sold at auction for around £12,000.

11. Cast members became ill and injured

Kate Winslet caught hypothermia from filming in freezing water, and stunt actors were injured while filming the sinking scene.

Plus, dozens of cast and crew were drugged when an unknown person spiked the chowder with PCP.

12. Titanic cost $200 million to make

It cost $200 million (£161.8 m) to make the film. With a running time of 195 minutes, that’s nearly $1 million (£809,000) per minute. It was the most expensive film ever made at the time.

13. Titanic was first screened in Japan

Titanic premiered in 1997 (Tiziana Sorge / AFP via Getty Images)

Titanic was first shown on November 1, 1997, as the opening movie of the Tokyo International Film Festival, ahead of its world premiere, because it was thought its melancholic theme would be a hit with Japanese movie-goers.

They were right, and it went on to become the best-selling film in Japanese history at the time. Its world premiere, however, was in the US, on December 15, 1997.

14. The film earned more than $8 million on opening day.


The film earned $8.6 million (£6.96 m) on its opening day and $28.6 m (£23.1m) over the opening weekend. In fact, Titanic made $157 m (£127 m) in its first month.

15. Titanic was particularly popular on Valentine’s Day

Titanic will be rereleased around Valentine’s Day (Hal Garb / AFP via Getty Images)

The highest-grossing single day of the release was Valentine’s Day, according to James Cameron. This is also why Cameron decided to rerelease the film in February of this year, rather than wait until December, when it actually premiered.

16. The stars of the film were very young at the time

Kate Winslet was just 22 and Leonardo DiCaprio just 21 when they played Rose and Jack.

Before Titanic, Winslet appeared in Hamlet (1996) and Sense and Sensibility (1995). DiCaprio had already starred in Romeo and Juliet (1996) and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).

17.  Both a scale model and a replica were used in the filming

A scale model of the Titanic which was used in the filming of the movie (William West / AFP via Getty Images)

A replica of the ship was built in Baja studios, Mexico. Sections of the boat were able to tilt at varying degrees, allowing Cameron to film the sinking scene with stunt actors.

However, a scale model of the ship was also used to film the ship breaking in half as it sank.

18. Titanic has been added to the National Film Registry

Titanic won numerous awards (Hal Garb / AFP via Getty Images)

Titanic was added to the National Film Registry in 2017, just days before its 20th anniversary. Die Hard, The Goonies, and Field of Dreams were also added the same year. The registry preserves and archives films that are deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, for posterity.

19. An etiquette coach taught the cast how to behave

Kate Winslet’s dresses, which she wore in her role as Rose (Matt Cardy / Getty Images)

An etiquette coach, Lynne Hockney, was hired to teach the cast about the manners and deportment of upper-class gentility in 1912.

20. The Heart of the Ocean necklace would have been worth hundreds of millions

Le Coeur de la Mer, created by Asprey's for the film Titanic (Sean Dempsey / PA)

If The Heart of the Ocean necklace were real, it would have been worth more than $300 million (£243 m). The prop used in the film, however, cost around $10,000 (£8,000) to make.

21. My Heart Will Go On sold 18 million copies

The film’s theme song, My Heart Will Go On, sang by Celine Dion, sold more than 18 million copies and is the second-best-selling physical single by a woman in music history, after Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You.

22. Titanic was popular on VHS

In its first three months, the film sold 25 million VHS copies in North America, with a total sales value of $500 million (£404 m), becoming the best-selling live-action video of all time.

23. A 3D version was released to mark the centenary of the Titanic sinking

A 3D version was released in 2012 (François Guillot / AFP via Getty Images)

To mark 100 years since the Titanic sank, a 3D version of the 1997 film was released.

24. Titanic Live was performed at the Royal Albert Hall

James Horner led an orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall (Ben A Pruchnie / Getty Images for Royal Albert Hall)

In 2015, an orchestra played the soundtrack of the Titanic while the film was screened. The film’s music was composed by James Horner.

25. More than 1 million people have rated the film on IMDB

Titanic has been rated by more than a million people on IMDB (Paramount Pictures / Getty Images)

Titanic has around 1.2 million ratings on IMDB with an average rating of 7.9. Women tended to rate the film higher than men, with an average score of 8.2 compared to 7.8, although under-18 boys prefer it to girls in the same demographic, rating 8.4 compared to 8.0. Who knew young boys could be so romantic?

Titanic will be re-released in cinemas on February 10, 2023.

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