Writer/producer/director James Cameron has quite a resume. After a couple of forgettable projects in the late 1970s and early '80s, the low-budget sci-fi thriller The Terminator
was his first major breakthrough into mainstream cinema, after which he found moderate box-office success with Aliens
and The Abyss
. His first major blockbuster came in 1991 with Terminator 2: Judgment Day
when it broke the $200 million box-office barrier.
In 1997 came Titanic and its estimated $200 million production budget, a record sum at the time. Had Paramount lost its mind bankrolling the project? Fortunately for the studio, its financial gamble paid off when Titanic became the highest-grossing film of all time (not inflation adjusted), earning $600 million in the US ($1.8 billion worldwide) and winning 11 Oscars in the bargain. Cameron truly was the king of the world.