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Jim Cameron Honors Centenary Of Loss Of 1,517 Souls By Re-Releasing 'Titanic' In 3D On April 6, 2012

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 19, 2011 1:23 AM
11 Comments
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After a dozen years as the top-grossing film of all time, a seemingly once-in-a-generation phenomenon, James Cameron's action-heavy period romance "Titanic" was finally unseated from its position as the biggest grossing film of all time by... James Cameron's action-heavy futuristic romance, "Avatar," which topped the earlier film's seemingly unbeatable $1,800,000,000 haul by nearly a billion dollars. But with "Avatar 2" not expected in theaters until 2015, the director has to find some way of keeping his coffers topped up (transplanting yourself into a Na'vi doesn't come cheap, you know), so he's going back to his number two film to give it the one thing it was missing before: a third dimension.

A press release from Paramount has confirmed what's been suspected for some time: that the traditionally anti-post-conversion Cameron has been working on transplanting "Titanic" into 3D, and that the studio will re-release the film, alongside original partners 20th Century Fox, next year. More precisely, it'll be on April 6th, 2012, a date chosen with particular significance to the storyline, as the Titanic set sail on its maiden, and only, voyage, on April 10th, 1912, so the re-release will mark the centenary of the boat's journey. And, you know, its sinking.

Cameron comments that "There's a whole generation that's never seen "Titanic" as it was meant to be seen, on the big screen. And this will be "Titanic" as you've never seen it before, digitally re-mastered at 4K and painstakingly converted to 3D. With the emotional power intact and the images more powerful than ever, this will be an epic experience for fans and newcomers alike," while Paramount boss Brad Grey adds that "This new presentation of Paramount’s top-grossing film is particularly special because 2012 is the 100th anniversary of our studio. Paramount has had the pleasure of introducing audiences to some of the all-time classics of cinema during that century of moviemaking and we cannot think of a better way to mark the occasion than with this re-release of "Titanic".” You know we'd have settled for a new print of "The Godfather," right?

While the film is distinctly unlikely to come anywhere near its original box-office take, it'll still likely be a serious heavyweight at the box office, and could cause problems for its immediate competition, the Henry Cavill actioner "The Cold Light of Day" and "American Pie" fourquel "American Reunion," either of which could well shift dates. A knock-on effect may also be felt the week before: prospective blockbusters "The Pirates 3D" and "Clash of the Titans 2" were already faced with the prospect of sharing the 3D screens with each other, but the arrival of Cameron's heavyweight may send them scurrying elsewhere in the calendar, particularly with March already looking tentpole-heavy.

It's not the only film by an already-loaded auteur to get the treatment: next year will see the distinctly less-beloved "Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace" re-released in 3D on February 10th. For the record, "Titanic 3D" will continue to star Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Bill Paxton, Suzy Amis, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, the late Gloria Stuart and Bernard Hill, it'll continue to be written and directed by Cameron, and it'll continue to be Cameron's least good film. But fans can check it out worldwide on April 6th, 2012.

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11 Comments

  • Glass | May 24, 2011 10:53 AMReply

    Cameron has never been opposed to post-conversion, he just doesn't think people do it properly, nor does he think it can look nearly as good as when filmed with 3D cameras. There's nothing hypocrticial in what he's doing, he's also been talking about converting Titanic to 3D for years.

  • Rebecca | May 19, 2011 6:24 AMReply

    Yesssssssss!!!! So excited :)

  • daniel | May 19, 2011 5:07 AMReply

    Posting news on The Playlist about Titanic is laying out bait for us to out-pretension eachother. I love Playlist because the news is fresh, the commentary is sharp, and the folks that come here generally are really active in their love for a wide range of film. But I have to say I'm always embarrassed when this tack is taken: that somehow certain kinds of movies are 'beneath' us. Titanic is an extraordinary example of it's form; it may be paper-thin, pop entertainment, but it's one of the best examples of this that you can find, and just as valid a film as rarefied arthouse fare like 'Last Year at Marienbad.' I suspect there are a lot of Playlisters who slam Titanic, but rave about their new DVD of 'Umbrellas of Cherbourg,' which is equally well made, and just as audience-pleasing in it's design.

    I think all we should ever ask is that films are made well; judge them by what they're attempting, not by what you wish it would be. I have no trouble with people saying Titanic isn't their kind of movie, or they didn't think it was well made. But I think that for many of us, the negative response is pure elitism; it's nothing to do with the film, and all to do with our self-image. Which is not only weirdly self -limiting for people who propose to love film, but it's anti-cinema. If the cinematic experience is about anything, it's about forgetting yourself, and giving yourself over to the film you are watching.

  • Mr Anonymous | May 19, 2011 4:44 AMReply

    Titanic in 3D? Does that even make sense? It's a boat!
    What's 3D about it?

    If i want anything in 3D from that movie it should be Kate Winslet's perky breasts being shoved right in my face! Other than that, what a joke!

    Complete sellout.

  • hmm | May 19, 2011 4:42 AMReply

    Actually PM, Cameron has never been completely against conversion. He doesn't like the half-assed job of doing it

  • rodie | May 19, 2011 3:58 AMReply

    James Cameron makes me want to puke a lot of puke.

  • PM | May 19, 2011 2:19 AMReply

    @BuntyHoven - Those are called "yes" people.

    Cameron, what a hypocrite, railing on and on against 3D conversion, but then he realizes that everyone makes a buck and he felt left out. Oh wait, but this is DIFFERENT! HE'S doing the conversion, which means it will be much better than everyone else's conversion, so therefore, it's justified and will advance Hollywood into the next stage of mind blowing 3D conversion. So all that ranting before- it wasn't against 3D conversion itself, it was against everyone else's crappy conversion and not waiting to see how HE does it.

  • BuntyHoven | May 19, 2011 1:43 AMReply

    I wonder if they'll have fixed those floating CGI sailors striding about on deck. I remember when it came out, Cameron was bragging how he showed it to some folks early on and they couldn't tell the difference between the CGI people and the real actors. Then the movie came out and EVERYONE could spot the weird, robotic CGI people who seemed to walk above the ground in a weirdly unnatural style.

  • Whitney Warren | May 19, 2011 1:39 AMReply

    Titanic came out 14 years ago and James Cameron is still milking it. Until recently, he was still milking Avatar as well. Anyone who goes to see this is living in the past.

    He has got to be the greediest man in Hollywood. All those billions of dollars are not enough for him and he is still not satisfied.
    You don't see Nolan and Abrams milking Batman and Star Trek.

  • mike_m | May 19, 2011 1:36 AMReply

    Well I know what I will be skipping that weekend.

    as for:

    "You know we’d have settled for a new print of “The Godfather,” right?"

    2 or 3 years ago new prints of The Godfather and Godfather 2 were playing around the country. I caught them both at NY Film Forum.

  • KT | May 19, 2011 1:31 AMReply

    I for one have never seen this movie.

    And I never will.

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