Friday, Dec. 19, was the release date for the huge-budget Hollywood film, Titanic. If that title sounds familiar, it's because Titanic is also a big-budget Broadway musical -- one that won several Tonys (including Best Musical) and has been selling out repeatedly at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre.
The James Cameron film, coming in six months late and nearly $100 million over its $100 million budget, stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, and has done enormous business -- more than $35 million over the holiday weekend, more than $88 million so far overall. The musical Titanic continues to be one of Broadway's top grossers, raking in a house record of $751,322 for the week ending Dec. 28.
Asked in mid-December whether having two media events with the same title would lead to negative competition or positive syngergy, spokesperson Susanne Tighe came down, strongly and presciently, on the plus side. "The whole cast went to see the movie as agroup and loved it. They really liked seeing the story unfold, as opposed to being onstage in it. They enjoyed sitting back and watching the story, and they felt the special effects were truly amazing."
Continued Tighe, "We collectively feel [the film] will be a big hit, and the association with the titles being the same can only help us. Likewise the sold-out success of the Broadway musical should help the movie."
In other Titanic news, the 1997 Tony-winner will embark in fall 1998 on a national tour of the U.S. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. No specific dates or other cities have been finalized, according to spokesperson Tighe, who said the touring company would be assembled separately from the Broadway company now at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, and would tour while the N.Y. production continues. Kennedy Center spokesperson Tiki Davies was unable to supply additional information. Titanic, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, has a score by Maury Yeston, book by Peter Stone. For tickets call (212) 307-4100.