Take the Money and Run: A Guide to Woody Allen’s Box Office Ups and Downs

The recent Midnight In Paris garnered a lot of press attention for becoming Woody Allen’s highest grossing movie ever. This is true, but only if you ignore Antz (which you should), and if you pretend that movie tickets in 1975 cost the same that they did in 2012 (which you shouldn’t).

So, using the National Association of Theatre Owners as a reference, I calculated, based on the average ticket price of a movie’s year, approximately how many tickets it sold, and multiplied that by how much tickets cost in 2012. Therefore, the right-hand column represents the amount of money the movie would have made, had it sold the same number of tickets in 2012. Excluded are movies whose stats are not available (i.e. Take the Money and Run), and movies that were not released into theatres (i.e. Don’t Drink the Water).

Analysis is pretty straightforward: he was very popular, then less popular, and then not popular at all. Were it not for the financial comeback of Midnight in Paris, a chart would be a line more-or-less straight down, spiked with the occasional modest hit. It should also be noted that people generally don’t like movies that will depress them. Ultimately, I think the biggest take-away message is a confirmation of the old show-business idiom: there’s no accounting for taste.

hide Woody's acting-only movies
Movie Year Box-Office Adjusted Box-Office
What's New Pussycat1965$8,469,000$66,123,346
Casino Royale1966$22,744,718$163,439,920
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask1972$18,016,290$85,551,038
Love and Death1975$20,123,742$80,494,968
Annie Hall1977$38,251,425$139,283,216
Stardust Memories1980$10,389,003$31,360,113
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy1982$9,077,269$25,070,552
Broadway Danny Rose1984$10,600,497$25,617,868
The Purple Rose of Cairo1985$10,631,333$24,317,303
Hannah and her Sisters1986$40,084,041$87,731,109
Radio Days1987$14,792,779$30,720,554
Another Woman1988$1,562,749$3,087,475
New York Stories1989$10,763,469$21,904,604
Crimes and Misdemeanors1989$18,254,702$37,149,920
Scenes From a Mall1991$9,563,393$18,445,309
Shadows and Fog1991$2,735,731$5,276,517
Husbands and Wives1992$10,555,619$20,653,404
Manhattan Murder Mystery1993$11,285,588$22,135,018
Bullets Over Broadway1994$13,383,737$26,636,261
Mighty Aphrodite1995$6,401,297$11,949,088
Everyone Says I Love You1996$9,714,482$17,846,514
Deconstructing Harry1997$10,569,071$18,697,354
Wild Man Blues1997$425,788$753,246
The Impostors1998$2,197,921$3,805,356
Sweet and Lowdown1999$4,196,621$6,734,499
Small Time Crooks2000$17,071,230$25,717,697
Company Man2001$146,028$209,867
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion2001$7,496,522$10,773,763
Hollywood Ending2002$4,839,383$6,775,136
Anything Else2003$3,203,044$4,313,220
Melinda and Melinda2004$3,825,351$5,001,908
Match Point2005$23,089,926$29,249,641
Cassandra's Dream2007$971,561$1,146,668
Vicky Cristina Barcelona2008$23,213,577$26,252,680
Whatever Works2009$5,305,622$5,744,220
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger2010$3,247,816$3,342,493
Midnight in Paris2011$56,473,065$57,248,600
To Rome With Love2012$16,682,329$16,682,329
References: National Association of Theatre Owners, Box Office Mojo, IMDb