Woody Allen has never had a movie gross over $100 million dollars in the United States. He’s made just one film that earned more than $50 million in the U.S. — 2011’s Midnight in Paris. In a career spanning 50 years and about that many movies, Allen’s biggest opening weekend ever was just $3.8 million. (The film: 2001’s Small Town Crooks.) Even when his film’s have been successful, they’ve never been blockbusters. And after sexual abuse allegations made by his adoptive daughter Dylan in 1992 gained renewed attention in light of the #MeToo movement, Amazon Studios decided to permanently shelve Allen’s most recent film, A Rainy Day in New York, rather than even attempt a domestic release.

But coronavirus has turned the world upside down. Thousands of theaters around the world are closed because of the pandemic. Studios have postponed nearly all of their spring releases until multiplexes can reopen their doors. On one recent weekend, the entire domestic box office report came from a single drive-in theater in Florida. And last weekend, A Rainy Day in New York became the top film at the international box office — at least according to Box Office Mojo.

Head to their “Latest International Weekends” page and you’ll see two countries listed: Norway and South Korea, one of the few places around the world that’s had success in getting their coronavirus outbreak under control. While ticket sales there are at “5%” of last year’s levels, the top movie in South Korea last weekend was still A Rainy Day in New York, which earned about $340,000. (The top film in Norway was Disney’s Onward, which grossed $17,208.)


It’s another surreal twist in the story of A Rainy Day in New York, which still hasn’t received a U.S. release. Amazon’s decision to withhold the movie resulted in a $68 million lawsuit between Amazon and Allen that was ultimately settled and dismissed. Both of the film’s stars, Timothée Chalamet and Selena Gomez, donated their salaries from the film to charity.

But Amazon’s control of the movie didn’t extended to the entire world. Although A Rainy Day in New York never came out in New York (or anywhere else in the U.S. for that matter) it has played in theaters around the globe. According to The Numbers, the film has already earned more than $16.9 million worldwide. That’s more than Allen’s previous movie, 2017’s Wonder Wheel, despite the fact that that one did get an American release. And the controversy did not prevent Allen from producing another movie; he shot Rifkin’s Festival last summer with a cast that includes Gina Gershon, Wallace Shawn, and Christoph Waltz. If and when it might come out in theaters is anyone’s guess thanks to the pandemic.

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