December 19, 1997 was a huge day in the world of movies. That was the day that James Cameron'sTitanic was released in theaters. At the time, it was the most expensive movie in history, costing over $200 million to produce. With such a huge budget, there was reason to be concerned that it would turn out to be a flop. However, as we all know, this was not the case at all.
Titanic turned out to be a huge hit right out of the gate, and would only get bigger and bigger. It was the number one movie at the North American box office for a whopping 15 straight weeks. Needless to say, the studio wound up earning their money back and then some.
Not only did the movie clean up at the box office, it also cleaned up at the Oscars. Titanic went on to win 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Song for "My Heart Will Go On." It seemed as if this movie could do no wrong.
As it turned out, the movie's big drawing point wasn't the fact that it had a giant ship being struck down by an iceberg. Instead, it was the romance between Jack and Rose. Moviegoers may have thought they were getting an epic disaster movie were really getting an epic love story and epic disaster movie combo platter.
Sadly, Jack and Rose's romance was destined to end in tragedy. At the end of the movie, we learn that Jack wound up dying in the water. (And if you somehow haven't seen the movie and didn't want the ending spoiled, why are you reading this to begin with?)
However, many people insist there was room for Jack too. This drawing suggests that Jack could have laid down right beside her, and everything would be fine. It'd be a bit of a tough squeeze, but it sure beats drowning.
The topic was so hotly debated that it was even covered by the guys from MythBusters. Their conclusion? "With all we’ve learned, I think Jack’s death was needless," saidMythBusters co-host Jamie Hyneman. So why did it happen?
In November, director James Cameron was interviewed by Vanity Fairto discuss the 20th anniversary of Titanic. And, as any respected journalist would, they asked Cameron why Rose didn't make room for Jack on the door. And, as any respected director would, Cameron had a response at the ready.
To be fair, Cameron did elaborate a little further. He said that the debate "does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die. Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless. . . . The film is about death and separation; he had to die."
In other words, Jack had to die in the movie, because that tragedy is what makes it connect with viewers. If Jack had lived, would we still be talking about the movie now? "Whether it was (the door), or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down," Cameron said.
Besides, as much as it may seem like the door had enough room, it wasn't exactly a sturdy flotation device. But if you're still not convinced, you can check again for yourself. To celebrate the film's 20th anniversary, it was re-released in theaters in December.