Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMSTitanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.
Cameron’s inspiration for the film was predicated on his fascination with shipwrecks; he wanted to convey the emotional message of the tragedy, and felt that a love story interspersed with the human loss would be essential to achieving this. Production on the film began in 1995, when Cameron shot footage of the actual Titanic wreck. The modern scenes were shot on board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, which Cameron had used as a base when filming the wreck. A reconstruction of the Titanic was built at Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, and scale models and computer-generated imagery were also used to recreate the sinking. The film was partially funded byParamount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, and, at the time, was the most expensive film ever made, with an estimated budget of $200 million.
Upon its release on December 19, 1997, the film achieved critical and commercial success. Nominated for fourteen Academy Awards, it won eleven, including the awards for Best Picture and Best Director, tying Ben Hur (1959) for most Oscars won by a single film. With an initial worldwide gross of over $1.84 billion, it was the first film to reach the billion-dollar mark. It remained the highest-grossing film of all time for twelve years, until Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar surpassed its gross in 2010. A 3Dversion of the film, released on April 4, 2012 (often billed as Titanic 3D), to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the ship, earned it an additional $343 million worldwide, which pushed Titanic’s worldwide total to $2.18 billion. It became the second film to pass the two-billion mark (the first being Avatar).