James Cameron’s 1997 mega-blockbuster Titanic was a film that lived up to its name in nearly every sense of the word. The greatest love story of the nineties was also one of the most critically and commercially successful films ever made. Released on December 19, 1997, Titanic hauled in an astonishing 14 Academy Award nominations along with a worldwide gross of 1.84 billion, making it one of the most profitable films of all time.

Written, directed, and co-produced by Cameron, the film told the story of the 1912 sinking of the ocean liner Titanic during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Anchored by the love story of Jack and Rose, the epic tragedy made box office history and launched the careers of stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The film also included a modern-day storyline involving the search for a priceless diamond 13,000 feet below the ocean’s surface which utilized real footage shot at the ship’s final resting place. The combination of larger-than-life set pieces and innovative CGI brought the tragedy to life for audiences around the world.  

Titanic was a watershed moment in American moviemaking. The film was so popular that theaters across the country physically wore out their copies of the film reel, forcing Paramount Pictures to send replacements to keep up with the demand.Titanic was also the first film ever to be released on videocassette while it was still being screened in theaters. Real nineties fans will recall Titanic was such a long movie, it had to be split into two VHS tapes when it was released to home audiences. And whether you were a tape one or tape two-person said a lot about who you were as a person. Titanic’s impact continues to be felt over time, and the film was recently re-released in theaters to commemorate its 20th anniversary.

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