Unsinkable Titanic Sails On Past $1 Billion

Who'd've thunk it? The movie-going public can't get enough of James Cameron's Titanic, the three-hour disaster flick starring the mismatched Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a pair of doomed lovers.

As of last week, Titanic, the season's top box-office hit, has reached the $1billion mark worldwide, making it the highest grossing film in history. Domestic ticket sales have so far hit $427 million. Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, a monster hit in 1982, was the previous #2 all-time money-earner, with domestic box-office receipts just a tad under $400 million.

Twenty-one years after its initial theatrical run, Star Wars is still the all-time domestic box-office champion, with a total of $461 million. George Lucas' science-fiction saga is likely headed for second place, however, because Titanic gives no indication of slowing down. Over the recent weekend of Feb. 20-22, it took in $21 million, far ahead of the $12.7 million taken in by The Wedding Singer, a comedy starring former Saturday Night Live trooper Adam Sandler.

Home-theater fans might have a very long wait before they can screen Titanic privately, if ever. Paramount Pictures is a member of the Divx cartel, along with Disney, SKG DreamWorks, Universal, and recent addition 20th Century Fox. Will Paramount stick by its Divx agreement, or will it cave in to popular demand and release the epic as an unencrypted DVD? Perhaps Titanic's popularity will gain new converts for Divx. At this point, it's anybody's guess.