'Titanic': How it changed Hollywood
In 1998, EW made five Predictions about how Titanic‘s success would affect the movie biz. Which ones came true?
Prediction: Bigger budgets
Were we right? Oh, yeah. Titanic’s $200 million budget is still large by today’s standards, but event movies — such as Transformers 2 and Terminator Salvation — now routinely cost $200 million.
Prediction: More pressure on studios for higher box office returns
Were we right? Yup. Ten years ago, a $100 million-grossing movie was a hit. These days, pics have to cross the $200 million mark to earn blockbuster status. And that’s not counting overseas grosses, which can be expected to more than double a project’s haul.
Prediction: More studio partnerships
Were we right? Sort of. The Fox/Paramount partnership that launched Titanic inspired a short-lived flurry of co-productions. Team-ups (such as Paramount and Warner Bros. on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) are back to being the exception to the rule, but studios do love to split costs with outside investors.
Prediction: Fewer star-driven hits
Were we right? Definitely. Over the past decade, actors have lost much of their clout to high concepts and pre-established franchises. Bad news for A-listers, good news for unknowns in search of a break (see Star Trek‘s Chris Pine, Transformers‘ Megan Fox, etc.).
Prediction: A return of old-Hollywood schmaltz
Were we right? Nope. While Titanic‘s romance bewitched audiences, emotional fireworks still take a backseat to actual pyrotechnics. But never count out a good tearjerker: The Blind Side has made $219 million thanks to moviegoers who want their heartstrings professionally tugged.