‘Avatar’ Doesn’t Beat ‘Titanic’ In Oscar Nominations

James Cameron's latest gets nine Academy Award nods, while his 1997 film was nominated for 14 awards.

In 1998, James Cameron’s [movie id="115762"]“Titanic”[/movie] steered its way toward 14 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, eventually winning all but three of those categories. Over a decade later, Cameron’s [movie id="301495"]“Avatar”[/movie] has already smashed his earlier epic in worldwide box-office gross to take the top all-time spot, but the film couldn’t quite overtake that Oscar-nom total.

In the Oscar nominations announced on Tuesday morning (February 2), “Avatar” secured recognition in nine categories, tying with Cameron’s ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” for most total nods. Facing off in the top director category at the Golden Globes last month, Cameron won out over Bigelow, but the latter just nabbed the top prize from the Directors Guild of America. The former couple, who remain on good terms, will again compete in the Best Director category.

The other categories in which “Avatar” is nominated are: Best Picture, Art Direction, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.

While the original song “I See You” — performed by Leona Lewis and rolled during the film’s end credits — was nominated for a Globe, it did not make the cut at the Oscars. Similarly, there was speculation that Zoe Saldana might sneak into the Best Actress in a Leading Role category, but that did not happen. In ’98, Kate Winslet nabbed a nod in that category for “Titanic,” and Gloria Stuart was nominated for supporting actress.

It was no surprise that “Avatar” garnered nominations in categories like visual effects, cinematography and art direction. The film’s radical advances in motion-capture technology are, by now, the stuff of legend. “Avatar” also has to be considered a front-runner in the Best Picture category. Following its wins at the Globes, its singular box-office run and its nine Oscar noms, “Avatar” is positioned to have a very strong night when Hollywood’s preeminent awards show airs on March 7.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Avatar.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.