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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

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    Sony Pictures Classics Nears Fake Milestone

    By kyle | July 9, 2011

    The ever-obliging press raves, “Sony Pictures Classics is nearing a real milestone with ‘Midnight in Paris.’!”
    Er, no it isn’t. “Midnight in Paris” is about to earn more dollars than any other Woody Allen movie. But so what? Those dollars are worth less and less. Saying “Midnight” is about to set a record is like saying a baseball slugger is about to set a home run record in an era when they move the fences in five feet every year. “Midnight” is going to gross maybe $42 or $45 million in its entire run. “Annie Hall” grossed $38.3 million — in 1977. That’s the equivalent of $143 million today. “Midnight in Paris” is nowhere near being Woody Allen’s biggest hit. Why does SPC care? Because they want to be able to run print and (later) DVD ads proclaiming that this is Woody Allen’s biggest hit ever. In other words, they want to have an excuse to blow some money proclaiming their own marketing genius. The movie hasn’t even broken even yet.

    Topics: Movies | 9 Comments »

    9 Responses to “Sony Pictures Classics Nears Fake Milestone”

    1. K Says:
      July 9th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      Why should they be any different from the rest of the industry? Seems like every couple of years there’s a new heralded “record” movie gross – as the number of ticket buyers continues to decline.

    2. Steven Kaye Says:
      July 10th, 2011 at 2:11 am

      It hasn’t broken even yet? You idiot. Do some resarch and you’ll find that it has.

    3. nolotrippen Says:
      July 11th, 2011 at 8:51 am

      Steven Kaye is a drive-by Woody fan. Does he site his source? Nope. Because there isn’t any.

    4. LBD Says:
      July 11th, 2011 at 9:21 am

      The movie title cracks me up. Is anyone else old enough to remember that “Midnight in Paris” was the name of the perfume sold at Woolworths’ five and ten cent stores? It smelled like bug killer and came in a dark blue glass bottle.

    5. Luis Says:
      July 11th, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Sorry, but the title recalls the Paris Hilton “movie.”

    6. Marc Says:
      July 11th, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Steven Kaye . . . general rule of thumb is a movie needs to at least double its budget to see any kind of return. (Take into account advertising and theater cut of ticket sales . . .) Budget was $30mil, so Woody needs to make at least $60mil to see a return. “Do some resarch (sic) and you’ll find that it has (not)”.

    7. voted against carter Says:
      July 11th, 2011 at 11:16 am

      The LAST good (I use the term LOOSLY) movie Woody Allan made was

      “Whats UP Tirgerlilly?”.

      Wasn’t that also his FIRST movie?

    8. Dene Says:
      July 20th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      I agree that the hyperbole about it being Allen’s biggest ever hit is nonsense, but a likely total domestic gross of $45m or so is still pretty darned impressive at this stage of his career.

      It’s certainly his biggest ticket seller in the US *since* Hannah and her Sisters 25 years ago.

      It has made $75m Worldwide to date, so the chances of it making a profit are presumably high.

    9. Kyle Says:
      July 20th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      Agreed. I’m stunned it did so well, but done well it certainly has.