Teens propel 'Titanic' ticket sales
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."
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
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
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
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.
"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
"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.