'Midnight in Paris' is Woody Allen's biggest hit in 25 years? Well, sort of.


Image Credit: Roger Arpajou

Midnight in Paris is poised to become Woody Allen’s biggest hit in 25 years. Though it only recently reached more than 1,000 movie theaters, the Owen Wilson comedy has grossed an impressive $22.7 million, in addition to near-universal critical praise. When it passes Match Point ($23.1 million) and Vicky Cristina Barcelona ($23.2 million) later this week, it will be the director’s most successful film since the Oscar-winning Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986.

Well, technically… but not really. As impressive as Midnight in Paris has been — especially following duds You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Whatever Works — no box-office nerd would attempt to rank it among Allen’s biggest hits. Films simply cost more today; and so do tickets. So when adjusted for inflation (courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.com), Midnight in Paris‘s grosses rank only 20th among Allen’s films, trailing movies like The Purple Rose of Cairo and Small Time Crooks. A more comprehensive ranking of Allen’s films at the box office is after the jump:

Woody Allen’s Top 10 Biggest Box-Office Hits (when adjusted for inflation)

1. Annie Hall (1977), $134.8 million (in 2011 dollars)
2. Manhattan (1979), $125.1
3. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), $84.9
4. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask (1972), $83.3
5. Sleeper (1973), $81.5
6. Love & Death (1975), $77.2
7. Bananas (1971), $56.4*
8. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), $36.1
9. Interiors (1978), $35.0
10. Stardust Memories (1980), $30.4

* The official box-office records for Bananas are difficult to confirm (as are figures for Take the Money and Run), and might not be completely accurate.

The good news for Midnight in Paris is that it seems certain to crack the Top 10, inflation be darned. And just looking at that Top 10 list makes me want to embark on a Woody Allen weekend marathon. But where would I start. Suggestions?

Read more:
Woody Allen looks back at 12 of his films
Best Woody Allen movie ever? Vote!
Rediscovering Woody


Comments (28 total) Add your comment
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  • Lauren

    Well, Midnight in Paris certainly deserves to make a lot of money, what a great film.

  • Ryan Dunns Singed Beard

    I love Woody and getting them.

  • emma

    It’s kind of shocking to see “Stardust Memories” make the top 10. I seem to recall it being Woody’s first major b.o. failure when it was released in 1980. But it has aged exceptionally well. I watched it again last year for the first time since the original theatrical release and was surprised to discover how truly good it is. Makes me one to give “Shadows and Fog” and “September” another look.

  • emma

    want to give…duh!

    • Laundry

      His first major body odour failure? Oh, box office failure. Sorry…

  • Helen

    “Radio Days” is a real charmer — wistful and hilarious by turns, and a great relaxing weekend movie. Same goes for “Zelig,” which may have the greatest “lovers’ reunion” scene ever. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is well worth checking out if you haven’t seen it before.

  • Well…

    Not a huge hit, but I LOVE me some “Manhattan Murder Mystery.” Funny, fun, and smart. So Woody!

    • G.R.

      I’ll second this one. Very funny stuff!

  • anthony w

    Can’t believe the ending, tho! Totally sucked and ruined the entire film for me.

    • Laundry

      Woody Allen is not one for “Hollywood Endings”!

  • Mr. Holloway

    This made for an interesting read.

    However, I’m not sure why you’d make the inflation/ticket costs argument here but NOT when you guys breathlessly report about whatever box office record falls by the wayside these days.

    Either way, “Midnight In Paris” is a big hit for Woody Allen by any standard.

  • Torrence5

    Still like “Bullets Over Broadway” for a fun Woody film.

    • Squishmar

      Second that! I’ll watch it any time it’s on… I’ve probably seen that and “Purple Rose of Cairo” the most times…(well over 20 for “Bullets” and around 15 for “Cairo”).

  • dm

    I love “Manhattan Murder Mystery” too. It might be my all-time fave Allen film. I thought Midnight in Paris was really good too.
    He has such an impressive body of work. I can’t think of any other writer/director with his track record, over so many decades. He’s a national treasure, and his filma are so quintessentially “American.” Love him! All-time fave Woody Allen quote, from the doc “Wild Man Blues” – “So, in theory, this should be fun.”

    • Laundry

      Who else has been continuously famous for fifty years? Clint Eastwood… The list is short!

  • m1

    I saw Midnight in Paris last week and thought it was terrific. It deserves all the money it can make.

  • Zo

    “Radio Days” is an under-seen gem! Check that one out, for sure!

    My husband and I just saw “Midnight in Paris” on Tuesday and just adored it. The audience was laughing out loud many times and applauded when it was through. I do wish that Inez (Rachel McAdams) had at least one redeeming quality other than being other-worldly-beautiful, but that’s my only complaint. And I wish I could see Alison Pill play Zelda Fitzgerald in a full-length film about her life!

  • mizerock

    This kind of adjustment should be done, every time – thanks!

    What CPI index did you use? My numbers didn’t match up with yours …

  • John R.

    Interiors is in the top 10?

  • Kurt

    I always feel sorry for filmgoers who, for whatever reasons, haven’t grasped Woody Allen’s work and given themselves the chance to enjoy his films.

    “Love and Death” ranking so high surprised me.

    • Valinda

      I went to tons of links before this, what was I tikhnnig?

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