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It's like I've always said: give the folks in La Jolla what they want, and they'll turn out in droves every time.

Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen's 42nd feature, has become his highest grossing film of all time in North America.

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Midnight stars Owen Wilson in the role normally reserved for Woody, now too old to consider playing the romantic lead opposite anyone other than his bride, Soon-Yi. Aryan surfer-dude Wilson turns out to be a surprisingly canny choice for an alternate Woody. Many were pleasantly surprised to see how well he pulled it off, particularly in light of former Woody-subs Will Ferrell, Jason Biggs, Larry David, and even John Cusack.

Wilson plays a Hollywood screenwriter who accompanies his bride-to-be and her disapproving parents on a trip to Paris. Not unlike the characters created by his literary hero F. Scott Fitzgerald, Wilson's one-time dreams of authoring the great American novel are eventually quashed by the allure of Hollywood gold. But, during a midnight stroll, Wilson discovers a portal to the past, a magic carriage ready to transport him back to the jazz age, where he rubs elbows with high-brows the likes of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Bunuel, and Dali.

A lifelong fan of Mr. Allen (I was there the day Take the Money and Run premiered and have seen everything since either on or before opening day), it was somewhat disheartening to note how comparatively puny the record is. To date, Midnight in Paris has taken in $41,792,695. Adjusting for inflation, Woody's biggest grossing picture to date, Hannah and Her Sisters, took in $80 million at the box office. Annie Hall, Woody's Oscar-winning "nervous romance," is more in line with contemporary thinking. What earned $38 million in 1977 today would command the same purchase power as $138 million.

Midnight in Paris is currently playing at Landmark's Hillcrest and La Jolla Village Cinemas.

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Comments

cinemacurmudgeon July 18, 2011 @ 1:28 p.m.

I suppose I should see this at some point, but Woody hasn't done anything interesting (for me) since Husbands and Wives.

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Colonna July 18, 2011 @ 4:43 p.m.

The full Top Ten Woody earners:

1.) Midnight In Paris (2011) - $41,792,695 (and counting) 2.) Hannah And Her Sisters (1986) - $40,084,041 3.) Manhattan (1979) - $39,946,780 4.) Annie Hall (1977) - $38,251,425 5.) Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) - $23,216,709 6.) Match Point (2005) - $23,151,529 7.) Love And Death (1975) - $20,123,742 8.) Sleeper (1973) - $18,344,729 9.) Crime And Misdemeanors (1989) - $18,254,702 10.) Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (1972) - $18,016,290


Bottom Five Woody Earners:

5.) Anything Else (2003) - $3,212,310 4.) Shadows And Fog (1992) - $2,735,731 3.) Another Woman (1988) - $1,562,749 2.) Cassandra's Dream (2008) - $973,018 1.) September (1987) - $486,434 *

  • Woody's largest release (1,033 screens) ** Woody's smallest release (15 screens)
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Scott Marks July 19, 2011 @ 2:52 p.m.

I am stunned to see the paltry box office take of "Cassandra's Dream," my favorite Woody pic since "Crimes and Misdemeanors."

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johnnylogan July 19, 2011 @ 1:13 p.m.

I remember seeing Love and Death and laughing throughout the entire movie. But that was two decades ago. Does that movie hold up? VAH!

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Scott Marks July 19, 2011 @ 2:49 p.m.

Sure does, guitar man. It's still my favorite of his "early, funny films."

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SurfPuppy619 July 19, 2011 @ 5:27 p.m.

A lifelong fan of Mr. Allen (I was there the day Take the Money and Run premiered and have seen everything since either on or before opening day),

Take the Money and Run is sooooo funny, even today, great movie!

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Scott Marks July 19, 2011 @ 5:47 p.m.

I watched it right after writing this entry. "Trout Fishing in Quebec" and the two convicted ventriloquist speaking behind bars never fail to reduce me to tears.

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