‘Titanic’ sails past $100 mil

Pic should hit $200 mil in domestic B.O.

Paramount and 20th Century Fox’s “Titanic” steamed past $100 million in domestic ticket sales Tuesday, after just 12 days in release.

The Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet starrer became the 12th film released this year to surpass the milestone. It’s the second one for Paramount, following “Face/Off’s” $112.2 million North American run.

In the wake of “Titanic’s” spectacular sophomore weekend, the picture grossed a hefty $7.9 million Monday, up 28% from a week earlier.

Domestic distributor Paramount projected Tuesday’s tally would come to about $8.5 million. North American box office typically improves by 8%-10% on Tuesday, when Canadian theaters offer half-price tickets.

That brings “Titanic’s” total to a projected $104.8 million.

“This picture is really picking up momentum,” said Wayne Lewellen, Paramount distribution president, who noted that the picture continued to play across the demographic spectrum.

The film, which appears on track to end the holiday period with better than $140 million, now seems destined to reach $200 million domestically.

At that point, it would become the third-highest domestic grosser released this year, behind Sony’s “Men in Black” ($249.8 million) and Universal’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” ($229.1 million).

With foreign box office also cruising at full bore, the James Cameron-helmed pic has an excellent shot at reaching the $425 million or so insiders say it needs to eventually break even.

The cost to make and market “Titanic” is reportedly close to $300 million. A worldwide gross of $425 would return about $200 million to the studio, leaving $100 million to be made up by global video, television and other ancillary revenues.

The market remains strong overall with second-placed “Tomorrow Never Dies” picking up $3.8 million Monday and Sony’s “As Good as It Gets” pulling in $2.3 million.

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