UPDATE: As TheWrap said it would on Thursday night, "Midnight in Paris" passed "Hannah and Her Sisters" on Friday to become the top-grossing movie of Woody Allen's career.
The film had an estimated gross of around $500,000 on Friday, more than enough to push it past the $40.1 million total for "Hannah." It now stands at an estimated $40.4 million.
It's all over but the official announcement. On Friday, "Midnight in Paris" will become the top-grossing movie of Woody Allen's long career.
For several weeks, the amiable, picturesque comedy, set in the City of Lights and starring Owen Wilson as a would-be novelist who finds a way to slip back to an era he idolizes, has been on track to dethrone "Hannah and Her Sisters" as the biggest grosser in Allen's directorial career, which has lasted for 35 years and 41 films.
When he spoke to TheWrap last week, Sony Pictures Classic co-president Michael Barker called it a best-case scenario that the film would become Allen's top grosser by the end of this week. Now, that will certainly be the case for a movie that he called "the perfect counter-programming for summer entertainment."
Sony aggressively pushed exhibitors to keep the movie on as many screens as possible; at the end of last weekend, it remained on more than 800 screens and had a gross of $38.6 million, putting it ahead of "Annie Hall" ($38.2 million), $1.3 million behind Allen's second-biggest film, "Manhattan," and only $1.5 million behind "Hannah."
This week, the film steadily crept up on the record. It grossed $311,000 on Monday, $367,000 on Tuesday and $320,000 on Wednesday. Thursday's $323,000 gross bought it within $50,000 of the $39.95 million gross for "Manhattan."
On Friday, the film drops to 706 screens, a loss of more than 100 screens but still a substantial total. And even a Friday gross of $200,000 – which would be its smallest Friday total since its first weekend, when the film was on only six screens – would be enough to pass "Hannah and Her Sisters" and make "Midnight" Allen's biggest movie ever.
And it's not going to stop there, said Barker. "It's still playing in major, major theaters," he said. "And I think what will happen is that a core number of theaters will play the picture throughout the entire summer."