Continuing to surprise, the summer indie hit “Midnight in Paris” crossed the $50 million mark in domestic box office today. With $50,062,843, “Paris” is already writer and director Woody Allen’s biggest hit ever. But, it also is a significant grosser for many members of its ensemble cast.
Leading man Owen Wilson has had his share of big hits in minor supporting roles in films such as “NIght at the Museum” or “Little Fockers” and even as the voice of Lightning McQueen in “Cars 2,” but put those aside and “Paris” is his biggest hit since “Marley & Me.” That’s pretty impressive for a movie that hasn’t expanded beyond 1,038 theaters. “Paris,” which could eventually hit $55-60 million, will also be a nice addition to the career totals of Marion Cotillard and Rachel McAdams.
The question is, of course, whether the critical and box office success of “Paris” can translate into a best picture nomination. Allen, who already has three Oscars, is still an Academy favorite and you could argue if there had been 10 nominees in 2009 it would have been a shoe-in for a nomination. That lovely experiment, however, is over. “Paris” will now have to fight with a slew of other contenders for the coveted 5% of first place votes to just to qualify for a nomination. Will there be between 250-300 Academy voters who will make it their first choice? Sony Classics is certainly hoping so. In the meantime, the 75-year-old cinematic icon can bask in the fact audiences still want more from Ol’ Woody.
For year-round entertainment commentary and awards season news, follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory.