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'Titanic 3D' opening breaks box-office records in China

April 11, 2012 | 10:59 am

Titanic had the biggest opening day ever in China

In America, moviegoer interest in "Titanic 3D" may soon start to ebb -- but in China, the tide of box office receipts for the updated James Cameron classic is rising high.

The reformatted version of the 1997 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet debuted in China on Tuesday and posted the second-highest opening day ever in the country, not accounting for inflation. In one day, the historical romance sold $11.6 million worth of tickets -- or roughly 26% of the $44 million the original grossed in China during its entire theatrical run in 1998.

When the movie was released in China 14 years ago, it played in only 180 theaters. This week, "Titanic 3D" was screened in 3,500 locations in the country, which has in recent years become one of the leading foreign markets for Hollywood films.

The original "Titanic" remained the top-grossing film in Chinese history until 2009, when it was eclipsed by "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." The record now belongs to a different Cameron-directed film: "Avatar," which raked in a whopping $207 million in China in 2010.

Since its international release last week, "Titanic 3D" -- which is being distributed overseas by 20th Century Fox -- has grossed a total of $60 million abroad. China is so far the highest-grossing foreign market for the film, though it is also performing solidly in Russia and Britain. The 3-D reissue has collected about $28 million domestically in the eight days since it hit theaters and opened in third place behind "The Hunger Games" and "American Reunion."

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-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio stars in "Titanic." Credit: Paramount Pictures

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