“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years

“Midnight in Paris” has been one of Woody Allen’s biggest hits in recent years. I can remember many Woody Allen movies coming to Little Rock and if I did not see it on the first weekend then I would not get to see it at all because it would get pulled. Here it is 8 weeks later and it is still being shown all over town. It has done over 38 million dollars and it is still in the top 10.

LARRY CROWNE Plummets, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS NOT to Become Woody Allen’s Biggest Box-Office Hit Ever


Box Office Shocker: ‘Midnight in Paris’ Becomes Woody Allen’s Highest-Grossing Film in 25 Years

8:52 PM 6/22/2011 by Pamela McClintock
Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen


Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters
5/20/11 Midnight in Paris SPC $38,890,374 1,038 $599,003 6
9/22/10 You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger SPC $3,248,246 402 $160,103 6
6/19/09 Whatever Works SPC $5,306,706 353 $266,162 9
8/15/08 Vicky Cristina Barcelona MGM/W $23,216,709 726 $3,755,575 692
1/18/08 Cassandra’s Dream Wein. $973,018 107 $361,901 107
7/28/06 Scoop Focus $10,525,717 541 $3,046,924 538
12/28/05 Match Point DW $23,151,529 512 $398,593 8
3/18/05 Melinda and Melinda FoxS $3,826,280 302 $74,238 1
9/19/03 Anything Else DW $3,212,310 1,033 $1,673,125 1,033
5/3/02 Hollywood Ending DW $4,850,753 772 $2,017,981 765
8/24/01 The Curse of the Jade Scorpion DW $7,517,191 909 $2,459,315 903
5/19/00 Small Time Crooks DW $17,266,359 886 $3,880,723 865
12/3/99 Sweet and Lowdown SPC $4,197,015 239 $94,686 3
11/20/98 Celebrity Mira. $5,078,660 493 $1,588,013 493
12/12/97 Deconstructing Harry FL $10,686,841 445 $356,476 10
12/6/96 Everyone Says I Love You Mira. $9,759,200 276 $131,678 3
10/27/95 Mighty Aphrodite Mira. $6,468,498 278 $326,494 19
10/21/94 Bullets Over Broadway Mira. $13,383,747 278 $86,072 2
8/18/93 Manhattan Murder Mystery TriS $11,330,911 337 $2,015,360 268
9/18/92 Husbands and Wives TriS $10,555,619 868 $3,520,550 865
3/20/92 Shadows and Fog Orion $2,735,731 288 $1,111,314 288
12/25/90 Alice Orion $7,331,647 325 $36,274 3
10/13/89 Crimes and Misdemeanors Orion $18,254,702 525 $911,385 66
3/3/89 New York Stories
(Oedipus Wrecks)
BV $10,763,469 514 $432,337 12
10/14/88 Another Woman Orion $1,562,749 24 $75,196 4
12/18/87 September Orion $486,434 15 $85,731 15
1/30/87 Radio Days Orion $14,792,779 488 $1,522,423 128
2/7/86 Hannah and Her Sisters Orion $40,084,041 761 $1,265,826 54
3/1/85 The Purple Rose of Cairo Orion $10,631,333 419 $114,095 3
1/27/84 Broadway Danny Rose Orion $10,600,497 613 $953,794 109
7/15/83 Zelig WB $11,798,616 245 $60,119 6
7/16/82 A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy WB $9,077,269 501 $2,514,478 501
9/26/80 Stardust Memories UA $10,389,003 $326,779 29
4/25/79 Manhattan MGM $39,946,780 $485,734 29
8/2/78 Interiors UA $10,432,366 n/a
4/20/77 Annie Hall UA $38,251,425 n/a
6/10/75 Love and Death UA $20,123,742 n/a
12/17/73 Sleeper UA $18,344,729 n/a
8/6/72 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask UA $18,016,290 n/a
4/28/71 Bananas UA n/a n/a
8/18/69 Take the Money and Run CRC n/a n/a
11/2/66 What’s Up, Tiger Lily? AIP n/a n/a

Note: Titles in grey are cameo or bit parts and not counted in totals and averages.

Colin Farrell-Jennifer Aniston’s HORRIBLE BOSSES Good, Kevin James’ ZOOKEEPER Weak: Box Office

More box-office news: John Lasseter‘s Cars 2, featuring the voice of Owen Wilson, was no. 4 on the North American box-office chart this weekend (July 8-10), with earnings of $15.2 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Having grossed $148.2m to date in the US/Canada, Cars 2 will pass the $150m milestone some time this week; it’ll thus become only the eighth movie to reach that mark so far in 2011. The others are: Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Hangover Part II, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast Five, Thor, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Bridesmaids. As you can see, six (including Cars 2) of those movies are sequels; one is based on a comics character; one is an original screenplay. Not one is a “straight” drama, i.e., one without super-heroes or super-effects. Yeah, now let’s start complaining about Hollywood’s lack of imagination.

Internationally, Cars 2 has collected an estimated $121.6m, opening at the top of the box-office chart in Spain and Argentina this weekend. The Disney/Pixar animated feature’s worldwide total stands at $269.8m.

At no. 5, the Cameron DiazJustin TimberlakeJason Segel R-rated comedy Bad Teacher drew $9m, lifting its domestic total to $78.75m. Worldwide: $124.45m.

Adults take their time to go to the movies, we’re told. Well, obviously not the adults who were interested in watching Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks together in the poorly received Larry Crowne. The Hanks-directed comedy was down 52%, pulling in only $6.26m at no. 6. Domestic total to date: $26.52m. That’s not good even for a relatively low-budget — $30m — effort.

At no. 7, J. J. AbramsSuper 8 brought in $4.82m, for a domestic cume of $118.05m. It was followed by the Selena Gomez vehicle Monte Carlo, which took in $3.8m, down 49% from last weekend’s already underwhelming grosses.

After 10 days, the romantic comedy Monte Carlo has grossed a paltry $16.12m in North America. As in the case of Larry Crowne, that’s bad even for a movie that cost only $20m — especially considering that Monte Carlo, marketed to teenagers and young women, is no heavy drama. Without special effects and action scenes, dramas usually have a harder time at the domestic box office, as was the case with the Robert Pattinson vehicle Remember Me last year, which ended its North American run with a modest $19m. (Somewhat ironically, Pattinson’s Water for Elephants is the top drama on the domestic chart this year.)

Rounding out the twelve this weekend were:

And definitely not: Allen’s Midnight in Paris will not become the director’s biggest hit ever at the North American box office. Regardless of the inevitable studio hype, it would be downright stupid not to consider that $40m in 2011 is a lot less than $40m in 1986, the year Hannah and Her Sisters came out. More on the inflation-adjusted performances of Woody Allen movies.


Things seem just a little bit different as Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s 41st feature and his first shot entirely in the eponymous City of Light, gets started. The staple jazz-tinged opening credits are interrupted for an extended sequence of lovely but not-quite-postcard-ready images of the streets, waterways, and monuments of Paris and, when the credits resume, the jazz has subsided and we hear two distinctly American voices bickering. “You’re in love with a fantasy,” says a female voice that ends up belonging to the radiant yet odiously over-privileged Inez (Rachel McAdams), who looks out on a pond that may have inspired Monet. “I’m in love with you,” calls back her fiancé, Gil (Owen Wilson), a successful screenwriter and aspiring novelist who dreams of walking the tight corridors of the famed city in the rain.

Blind nostalgia is Gil’s drug of choice, and despite being on vacation with his soon-to-be wife’s parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy, beautifully cast), the studio-approved scripter is covertly considering a post-nuptials move to France. To Inez, Gil is merely swept up in the romanticism of the city and she refuses him even the most minor of indulgences, even openly scolding him when he disagrees or even slightly disturbs Paul (Michael Sheen), an old friend, traveling professor, and unerringly obnoxious intellectual. When Paul offers to take Inez dancing, Gil takes the chance to walk the streets under cover of night, ending up at the steps of a cathedral as the grand bells strike midnight and a car full of drunken Parisians pulls up in a decidedly anachronistic automobile. Already a few glasses of wine in, Gil obliges them and is immediately flung back into the heyday of Parisian culture, circa 1920.

Roaming around in the post-war salad days, Gil is privileged to hobnob with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston and Alison Pill), drink with Hemingway (Corey Stoll), trade philosophies with Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody, obviously having some fun), even get a few notes on his unpublished novel from Gertrude Stein, lovingly played by Kathy Bates; Cole Porter sticks around just to sing a few bars of “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love.” In the morning, however, it all goes back to normal, prompting return trips that make Inez and her parents suspicious enough to call in a private eye. Following Gil proves impossible, allowing the soon-to-be groom to pitch to Luis Bunuel and romance Picasso’s latest muse (Marion Cotillard), who has her own romance for the late 19th century.

Gil inevitably falls for Cotillard’s wandering flapper, erupting in a confluence of fantasies at famed Maxine’s after a can-can show but Allen has not gone completely soft on us. Allen’s previous film, the severely underrated You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, ended warmly on two spiritually inclined, elderly lovebirds while faux-intellectuals, atheists, misogynists, and philanderers seemingly were given their cosmic punishments. For Allen, it seemed like a grand gesture made sincerely towards a contingency that he showed little more than pity or disdain for beforehand, and Midnight in Paris continues in the vein of that film. Less schematic and thematically dialectic than a great deal of the director’s late work, Midnight in Paris eschews the pleasures of nostalgia and delusions, but also suggests that they evolve from a great internal displeasure, in this case Gil’s suspicions of Inez having an affair with Paul and not loving him all that much.

Not that Gil has been strictly devoted to Inez: When not applying his aw-shucks brand of seduction to Picasso’s mistress, he can be seen flirting with a young woman at the local bazaar (the enchanting Lea Seydoux). He even chats up a guide at the Rodin Museum, played by France’s first lady and former super model Carla Bruni. As much as Cotillard is a fantasy, Inez represents an illusion of what a grounded, successful man should seek in a wife and, by extension, in life. In other words, the fantasy Allen, who wrote his own screenplay per usual, sculpts for Gil offers the would-be novelist both a luminous escape and a mirror to lend insight into his connubial predicament, which includes entering into a family of overindulged snobs and Tea Party supporters.

Shot by the great Darius Khondji, Midnight in Paris celebrates the timeless allure of the City of Light to the cinematic image without apology but it never goes as far as to overstate that allure. The same can be said about its attitude towards cultural idols, who show up here stripped of their great artistic weight and are presented as lovefools, eccentrics, macho bullheads, and, in the case of Bates’s Stein, a sort of mother superior to the whole lot. (Indeed, the film is an ipso facto parody of the sacrosanct attitude given many biopics of heralded artists.) And Allen finds himself a strong proxy in Wilson, who hasn’t responded this well to a director since traveling to India with Wes Anderson in The Darjeeling Limited. Allen’s trip to Paris doesn’t resonate with the immense emotional complexities that Anderson’s film did but his fantastical bit of time travel brings out a startling generosity and humanity in Allen that has only been seen in glimpses recently. Fantasies are as much tied to our personal desires as they are to our sense of mortality, but if Gil’s concluding walk over a rainy bridge with a lovely young woman is any indication, some things defy even the unforgiving specter of time.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: