When the ticket stubs were all counted, “Titanic” emerged as the top box office draw for a 13th weekend in a row, beating out MGM’s rival Leonardo DiCaprio starrer “The Man in the Iron Mask” by about $300,000.
The James Cameron-helmed romance took in $17.6 million over the three-day period — virtually flat with the previous weekend. The swashbuckling newcomer, which also stars John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons and Gerard Depardieu, picked up a solid $17.3 million.
While “Mask” ruled the box office kingdom Friday, “Titanic” was the top vote-getter on both Saturday and Sunday.
Up until this weekend, “Titanic’s” Sunday ticket sales had eroded slightly in comparison to the rest of the weekend. A week ago, the film dropped about 41% Sunday from Saturday. But this weekend, “Titanic’s” Sunday grosses were only down 38% from Saturday — and up 3% compared to the previous Sunday.
Paramount execs attributed the bump to the fact that many schools are currently on spring break, making its core group of young repeat viewers more available, especially on Sunday night.
Some schools were also out last week, which kept “Titanic’s” Friday total about even with the previous week.
The ship-pic’s next challenger will be Universal’s John Travolta starrer “Primary Colors,” which opens wide Friday.
No one knows for sure whether the film will be helped or hurt by the sexual scandal currently unfolding in the White House. So far, however, market research indicates the film appeals largely to older audiences who don’t necessarily rush out on opening weekend.
In other words, “Titanic” has a good chance of making it 14.