HE’s congratulations to Sony Classics for steering Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris to the highest dollar tally of any Allen film ever — $41,793,000. This clever little fantasy time-trip movie has been in theatres for two months and is still in the top ten. The word-of-mouth train will probably keep it going through August, and a possible surpassing of $50 million.
Annie Hall is still Woody Allen’s biggest all-time grosser, if you adjust for inflation.
The real measure of an all-time theatrical hit, of course, isn’t dollar grosses but number of tickets sold. And if you’re comparing present-tense dollars to the past, you naturally have to adjust for inflation.
So if you calculate the value of dollars in the ’70s and ’80s (Allen’s box-office heyday) into 2011 greenbacks, the all-time Allen champs are actually, in this order, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters and then Midnight in Paris.
Hall, Allen’s first big hit, took in $38,251,425 in 1978. But according to Dollar Times’ inflation calculator a 1978 dollar is worth $3.53 in 2011. So Annie Hall‘s 2011 gross expands to $135,027,530.
Allen’s Manhattan earned $39,946,780 in 1979. By today’s calculator (the ’79 dollar being worth $3.24 in 2011) that figure comes to $129,427,567.
Allen’s second-highest grosser after Midnight in Paris is 1986’s Hannah and Her Sisters, which took in $40,084,041. But with the 1986 dollar worth $2.01 in today’s market, Hannah‘s re-calculated gross is $80,568,922.
Then again today’s ancillary markets are more vigorous and plentiful than they were in the ’70s and ’80s so you have to calculate this also.