On December 19, 1997, exactly twenty years ago, theaters all across North America welcomed what would have been one of the most successful movies of all time: James Cameron's Titanic. While many had thought of the project as far-reaching (due to it being the most expensive film ever made at the time) and predicted its flop at the box office, the movie was met with great sales and incredibly warm reviews upon release. Its unparalleled success made so that Titanic could stay in theaters in North America for a grand total of ten months.
Titanic held the worldwide record as the highest-grossing film of all time for twelve years, being overtaken only by James Cameron's following movie, Avatar, in 2010. It currently shares the record of nominations to the Oscars (fourteen) with 1950's All About Eve and 2016's La La Land, as well as actual Oscar wins (eleven) with 1959's Ben-Hur and 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
"Camilla escapes in a boat", illumination from a Flemish translation of Christine de Pizan's "Livre de la Cité des Dames", ms. Additional 20698, f. 64v, 1475, British Library, London.