‘Titanic’ redo chases record

Pic could reclaim title as king of the domestic b.o.

As 3D retrofits continue to rewrite B.O. history, “Titanic” has a chance to leapfrog “Avatar” and reclaim its title as king of the domestic box office. But is the $160 million deficit too high a hurdle?

Probably.

The practice of converting blockbusters to 3D is relatively new for Hollywood, so predicting their B.O. is still a squishy business — even for the second-highest grossing film of all time.

“Titanic” 3D launches today via Paramount at 2,674 domestic locations (including 79 Imax runs). By no means is that a limited run, but neither is it on par with the 4,000-plus rollouts of pics like “The Hunger Games.” What’s more, “Titanic” looks to do at most $25 million in three days (less than the opening for “The Lion King” in 3D), with a potential five-day take in the $30 millions.

If “Titanic” 3D cumes three-times its opening at $75 million — comparable to “The Lion King,” which opened to $30 million and ended with $94 million domestically — the lifetime theatrical gross for “Titanic” would top out at around $675 million — a far cry from the $760 million domestic milestone set by “Avatar.”

Though records are nice, profitability is the ultimate goal, and “Titanic” undoubtedly stands as one of the safest 3D bets for the biz. Pic reportedly cost $18 million to convert, and given its international prospects, especially in markets like Russia and China, the film still looks to mint a tidy sum.

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