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Teens propel 'Titanic' ticket sales

Titanic January 20, 1998
Web posted at: 5:26 p.m. EST (2226 GMT)

From Correspondent Cynthia Tornquist

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Many thought the latest film version of the Titanic disaster would go down along with its famous namesake. Little did Hollywood realize box office receipts would be kept afloat, in part, by America's teen-age girls.

"It's a great movie. It's sentimental. The story is great," said one female fan.

"It's like you feel you're there," said another female teen enthusiast. "That you're experiencing the emotion."

vxtreme "Titanic" movie trailer

Since its December release, the film has earned close to $240 million in North America. Only two other films have reached similar sums more quickly: "Independence Day" and "Jurassic Park."

Studio executives say part of the film's success comes from repeat business, especially from teen-age girls. A survey found more than 7 percent of female teens have seen "Titanic" more than once.

"I think it's two things," said People magazine movie critic Leah Rozen. "One, it's Leonardo DiCaprio. He's really cute. They all saw him in 'Romeo and Juliet' and got a big crush and they're going back. But two, you've got a big sweeping love story and boy, when you're a teen-age girl, there's nothing better."

Scene from "Titanic"
video icon 1.7M/23 sec./320x240
921K/23 sec./160x120
QuickTime movie

The fans couldn't agree more.

"He should win triple awards for it, four stars," said one excited female fan.

Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, herself the object of teen-age adulation, couldn't help but get caught up in the story.

"It's one of the best love stories and it's shot so beautifully," Hewitt said. "I cried nine times. I was so psyched."

DiCaprio agrees the draw of the characters is intense.

"The focus of these two characters is what the audience is into the first two hours of the movie. You almost don't want the ship to sink after awhile because you want to see what develops between these two people," DiCaprio says.

Kate Winslet, who plays DiCaprio's love interest, says she was overwhelmed by the film from the very beginning.

Titanic

"I read the treatment and was incredibly moved by it and thought this it too good to miss," Winslet says.

Director James Cameron is being hailed by some as a visionary for concocting the fictional romance between the film's two stars.

"It's wonderful for teen-agers to see young stars who are practically in their age group playing these grand, huge movie roles that in the past would have gone to people in their 30s," said Christina Ferrari, managing editor of the newly-launched Teen People.

The film's makers can only hope this youth appeal will keep "Titanic" afloat for a long time to come.

 
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