A time travel fable set in the 1920s, featuring long-dead authors, wouldn’t necessarily be your first answer if asked which of the auteur‘s movies were going to make the most money at the American box office over the past few decades.
But Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris has just become his highest grossing film domestically in many years. The rom-com (though that tag never does Allen justice), starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, just overtook two of Allen’s other well-reviewed movies of the last five years, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point, by making $23.3 million to their $23.2 million.
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Up next: the chance to overtake the $40.1 million made 25 years ago by his Oscar winning Hannah and Her Sisters. The success of Midnight in Paris can be attributed to positive word of mouth, resulting in it moving from an initial six screens to over 1,000. The French location has proved a winner with audiences who also took to Wilson’s “everyman” character, which you’d usually associate with mainstream fare rather than Allen’s oeuvre.
The studio, Sony Classics, is also smiling all the way to the bank. While it would take a miracle to become its biggest ever moneymaker — 2000′s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon took in $128.1 million at the domestic box office — second place is up for grabs with Capote‘s $28.8 million quite capable of being reeled in.
The icing on the cake would be Oscar nominations and that shouldn’t be discounted either, with trade bible Variety reckoning that with the first half of 2011 nearly in the books, Midnight in Paris sits proudly alongside Cannes winner The Tree of Life, and JJ Abrams’ Super 8 as one of its main movies to watch.
It all marks quite the revival for the 75-year-old, who is as prolific now as he ever was in his supposedly golden period. His Alvy Singer from Annie Hall (“I don’t want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light”) might not recognize him but moviegoers sure do. (via The Hollywood Reporter)
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