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James Cameron’s 3D rerelease of Leonardo DiCaprio–Kate Winslet starrer Titanic is a runaway hit in China, where the movie has scored the best opening gross of all time in debuting to $67 million.
Official numbers released Monday were even stronger than Sunday’s estimates, which showed Titanic 3D opening to $58 million — still the best debut of all time.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon held the previous record, opening to $56 million last year in China on its way to grossing north of $145 million.
The good news for Titanic doesn’t end there. The rerelease may have been a slow starter last weekend, but it has since taken off, with a 12-day worldwide cume of $201.6 million and pushing the movie’s lifetime gross past the $2 billion mark.
Thanks to the China opening, Titanic 3D easily won the weekend race at the foreign box office, grossing a massive $98.9 million from 69 markets for an international cume of $157.1 million. Fueled by its six-day China launch, the movie beat Universal’s Battleship, which earned a projected $58 million as it rolled out in its first 26 markets (Battleship doesn’t open in China until next weekend).
IMAX runs contributed $5.8 million of Titanic’s global weekend gross, including north of $3 million in China alone. IMAX’s 12-day cume is $13.6 million, well ahead of expectations.
In North America, Titanic 3D came in No. 4 for the weekend, falling 32.7 percent to an estimated $11.6 million for a cume of $44.5 million.
Titanic 3D’s global cume of $201.6 million eclipses the $178.2 milllion earned worldwide by Disney’s 3D release of The Lion King last year. Lion King 3D was a box office hit, grossing $94.2 million domestically and $84 million worldwide for a total $178.2 million.
The 3D conversion of Titanic cost $18 million, and was personally supervised by Cameron.
In China, the opening gross is 32 percent ahead of the lifetime earnings of Titanic, which cumed $44 million when released in China in 1998, itself a record for more than a decade.
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