The epic historical drama, which has a record-tying 14 Oscar nods, topped the domestic box office for the 14th straight weekend. That is yet another milestone for the feature, eclipsing the 13-week record it previously shared with Tootsie and Beverly Hills Cop.
Titanic's estimated take of $17.3 million demonstrated its power to pull in both new and repeat audiences, even as a number of provocative new movies opened, including Primary Colors.
Universal Pictures' president of distribution, Nikki Rocco, claimed not to be disappointed that his studio's movie, in which John Travolta plays a philandering Southern politician running for president, only registered in second place. Rocco noted that Titanic is a phenomenon and that "Oscar-nominated films do well in that pre-Oscar period."
However, with the intense promotion of such an "in the news" topic, the $12.4 million take for Primary Colors was not very impressive. According to Rocco, surveys show that more than 50 percent of the audience was motivated to see the film because of the sexual allegations against President Clinton. Whether that interest will continue will have to wait until post-Oscars.
But of course Titanicmay get a further boost if it does win the big ones.
Interest in Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio helped the quasi-historical swashbuckler The Man in the Iron Mask to an $11.2 million, third-place showing--just ahead of another new release aimed at a more sophisticated youth audience, Wild Things.
Jackie Chan's new movie Mr. Nice Guy also chopped its way into the Top 10, in sixth place with $5 million.
The estimated domestic grosses were as follows:
1. Titanic, $17.3 million
2. Primary Colors, $12.4 million
3. The Man in the Iron Mask, $11.2 million
4. Wild Things, $9.6 million
5. U.S. Marshals, $7.4 million
6. Mr. Nice Guy, $5 million
7. Good Will Hunting, $3.9 million
8. The Wedding Singer, $3.4 million
9. As Good As It Gets, $3.3 million
10. The Big Lebowski, $1.8 million