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Annie Hall


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  • 2 years later...

After seeing it again last night it occurred to  me that the film could not have done very well at the box office. Most of the references in the film would be lost on 95% of the public. (Marshall Mc-who?)

 

Yes,  Allen films tend to have many 'inside' references that often are best understood by New Yorkers with some meant mostly for Jewish New Yorkers.

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Yes,  Allen films tend to have many 'inside' references that often are best understood by New Yorkers with some meant mostly for Jewish New Yorkers.

 

Yeah, but I'll bet the practice of placing a little dish of butter sauce and a nutcracker next to one's refrigerator whenever a lobster is hiding behind it IS a universal practice recognized by all.

 

(...and regardless one's race, color, creed OR residence!!!)

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Yeah, but I'll bet the practice of placing a little dish of butter sauce and a nutcracker next to one's refrigerator whenever a lobster is hiding behind it IS a universal practice recognized by all.

 

(...and regardless one's race, color, creed OR residence!!!)

Contrary to Allen's claim, the legality of making a right turn on red was recognized in many jurisdictions, not just L.A. What I was always confused about was the legality of making a LEFT turn on red, from one one-way street to another.

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Contrary to Allen's claim, the legality of making a right turn on red was recognized in many jurisdictions, not just L.A. What I was always confused about was the legality of making a LEFT turn on red, from one one-way street to another.

 

Yeah true, but then again withOUT that little shot at my old hometown of L.A., Woody would have had to have found another way to imply that hackneyed old thought that everybody there AND the general culture of the place is "so shallow", RIGHT?!!!

 

(...and so considering THIS, I think he did was well as his little egg-headed New Yawker brain could muster by utilizing that particular reference and by inference suggesting the thought expressed in that classic illustrated poster showing "no life existing west of the Hudson River", wouldn't ya say?!) ;)

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After seeing it again last night it occurred to  me that the film could not have done very well at the box office. Most of the references in the film would be lost on 95% of the public. (Marshall Mc-who?)

That's logical assumption, but, alas, it's not correct.  Woody's most popular films have done pretty well at the box office -- not like JAWS or STAR WARS, of course, but pretty well -- especially if you adjust for differences in ticket prices over the years, etc., and consider that his movies weren't expensive to make.

 

I found a list of adjusted gross box office receipts for Woody's films, and ANNIE HALL was the top earner, with an adjusted gross of approx. $140 million, which would be a very respectable accomplishment today, especially for a relatively inexpensive film.  Below is a list of Allen's top 10 earners.  You can find the full list, and a description of the methodology in adjusting the figures, at http://www.buzzfeed.com/peterlauria/the-box-office-gross-of-every-woody-allen-movie-adjusted-for#.syzK93Ev0p .

 

 

1. Annie Hall (1977)

Original Domestic Gross = $38.3 million; Average Ticket Price = $2.23; Estimated Gross Today = $140 million

 

2. Manhattan (1979)

Original Domestic Gross = $40 million; Average Ticket Price = $2.47; Estimated Gross Today = $132 million

 

3. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Original Domestic Gross = $40 million; Average Ticket Price = $3.71; Estimated Gross Today = $88.2 million

 

4. Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex * But Were Afraid To Ask (1972)

Original Domestic Gross = $18 million; Average Ticket Price = $1.69; Estimated Gross Today = $86.9 million

 

5. Sleeper (1973)

Original Domestic Gross = $18.3 million; Average Ticket Price = $1.76; Estimated Gross Today = $85 million

 

6. Love And Death (1975)

Original Domestic Gross = $20.1 million; Average Ticket Price = $2.03; Estimated Gross Today = $80.8 million

 

7. Midnight In Paris (2011)

Original Domestic Gross = $56.8 million; Average Ticket Price = $7.93; Estimated Gross Today = $58.4 million

 

8. Bananas (1971)

Original Domestic Gross = $11.8 million; Average Ticket Price = $1.65; Estimated Gross Today = $58.3 million

 

9. Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989)

Original Domestic Gross = $18 million; Average Ticket Price = $3.99; Estimated Gross Today = $36.8 million

 

10. Interiors (1978)

Original Domestic Gross = $10.5 million; Average Ticket Price = $2.34; Estimated Gross Today = $36.6 million

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Contrary to Allen's claim, the legality of making a right turn on red was recognized in many jurisdictions, not just L.A. What I was always confused about was the legality of making a LEFT turn on red, from one one-way street to another.

 

But he was specifically comparing New York to Los Angeles, so the point about other jurisdictions is irrelevant. 

 

And it wasn't until around the time of Annie Hall (1977) that most other big cities began allowing right turns on red in a few select intersections.  Washington DC didn't allow any right on red until late 1978, and unlike today, at that point it wasn't almost completely universal throughout the city.  The near universality didn't come about until later.

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Actually, at the time Annie Hall was released, almost anyone who would have gone to a Woody Allen movie would have known the name Marshall McLuhan, although not everyone would have read Understanding Media. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In had a running gag where Henry Gibson would say, "Marshall McLuhan, what are you doin'?"

 

"The medium is the message" was as commonly recognized a phrase then as "the tipping point" is now, and Understanding Media was a best-seller, just like The Tipping Point.

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Actually, at the time Annie Hall was released, almost anyone who would have gone to a Woody Allen movie would have known the name Marshall McLuhan, although not everyone would have read Understanding Media.

 

I read the book in 1964 and I disagreed with a lot of it. He made up a lot of stuff that was just wrong, and a lot of his book reviewers had no idea what he was talking about but they pretended to understand it, and they made up a lot of their own stuff in their reviews. McLuhanisms are easy to make up and no one knows which ones are right and which ones are wrong, including McLuhan himself.

 

He should have concentrated on THE INVENTION AND EXPANSION OF NEW FORMS OF MEDIA and its effects on a population. That's what allowed the Nazis to progress so far so rapidly, i.e. the new medium of radio and the newer medium of sound films AND the state control of both. Note in The Hunchback of Notre Dame the promotion of "leaflets" as a tool/medium of mass communication for the promotion of Revolution. The early Communists used this primitive (but new) medium very effectively. And see what ISIS is doing now with its highly produced videos and the medium of the Internet, and their incredible and rapid success with these media.

 

Anyway, here is what Wiki says about his book:

 

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man is a 1964 book by Marshall McLuhan, a pioneering study in media theory. McLuhan proposes that the media, not the content that they carry, should be the focus of study. He suggests that the medium affects the society in which it plays a role not by the content delivered through it, but by the characteristics of the medium.

McLuhan pointed to the light bulb as an example. A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness. He describes the light bulb as a medium without any content. McLuhan states that "a light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence."[1]

 

More controversially, he postulated that content had little effect on society — in other words, it did not matter if television broadcasts children's shows or violent programming, to illustrate one example — the effect of television on society would be identical. He noted that all media have characteristics that engage the viewer in different ways; for instance, a passage in a book could be reread at will, but a movie had to be screened again in its entirety to study any individual part of it.

 

The book is the source of the well-known phrase "The medium is the message". It was a leading indicator of the upheaval of local cultures by increasingly globalized values. The book greatly influenced academics, writers, and social theorists.

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Actually, at the time Annie Hall was released, almost anyone who would have gone to a Woody Allen movie would have known the name Marshall McLuhan, although not everyone would have read Understanding Media. Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In had a running gag where Henry Gibson would say, "Marshall McLuhan, what are you doin'?"

 

"The medium is the message" was as commonly recognized a phrase then as "the tipping point" is now, and Understanding Media was a best-seller, just like The Tipping Point.

 

I'm not sure I'm following you;   why would almost anyone who would have gone to an Allen movie know who McLuhan was?

 

Note that current polls show that around 50% of the people can't name the Vice President of the USA.    

 

So is there something about folks that would go to an Allen movie that makes them more knowledgeable about someone like McLuhan?    OK,  I understand that Allen appeals to the so called intellectual crowd but I assume that only applies to a percentage of folks that go see his movie.

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I'm not sure I'm following you;   why would almost anyone who would have gone to an Allen movie know who McLuhan was?

 

Note that current polls show that around 50% of the people can't name the Vice President of the USA.    

 

So is there something about folks that would go to an Allen movie that makes them more knowledgeable about someone like McLuhan?    OK,  I understand that Allen appeals to the so called intellectual crowd but I assume that only applies to a percentage of folks that go see his movie.

 

Ah, but James, the operative word you just used above here was the one I took the liberty to highlight: "current"!

 

'Cause ya see, I'm thinkin' here that back in '77 and when Woody's flick first hit the silver screen, a heck of a lot more people actually KNEW that the VP of the U.S. at the time was Walter Mondale!

 

(...though NOT that I'm implyin' here that we as a nation were collectively any smarter than we are today...well, okay...maybe I AM!!!) LOL

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That's logical assumption, but, alas, it's not correct.  Woody's most popular films have done pretty well at the box office -- not like JAWS or STAR WARS, of course, but pretty well -- especially if you adjust for differences in ticket prices over the years, etc., and consider that his movies weren't expensive to make.

 

I found a list of adjusted gross box office receipts for Woody's films, and ANNIE HALL was the top earner, with an adjusted gross of approx. $140 million, which would be a very respectable accomplishment today, especially for a relatively inexpensive film.  Below is a list of Allen's top 10 earners.  You can find the full list, and a description of the methodology in adjusting the figures, at http://www.buzzfeed.com/peterlauria/the-box-office-gross-of-every-woody-allen-movie-adjusted-for#.syzK93Ev0p .

 

 

1. Annie Hall (1977)

Original Domestic Gross = $38.3 million; Average Ticket Price = $2.23; Estimated Gross Today = $140 million

 

2. Manhattan (1979)

Original Domestic Gross = $40 million; Average Ticket Price = $2.47; Estimated Gross Today = $132 million

 

3. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Original Domestic Gross = $40 million; Average Ticket Price = $3.71; Estimated Gross Today = $88.2 million

 

4. Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex * But Were Afraid To Ask (1972)

Original Domestic Gross = $18 million; Average Ticket Price = $1.69; Estimated Gross Today = $86.9 million

 

5. Sleeper (1973)

Original Domestic Gross = $18.3 million; Average Ticket Price = $1.76; Estimated Gross Today = $85 million

 

6. Love And Death (1975)

Original Domestic Gross = $20.1 million; Average Ticket Price = $2.03; Estimated Gross Today = $80.8 million

 

7. Midnight In Paris (2011)

Original Domestic Gross = $56.8 million; Average Ticket Price = $7.93; Estimated Gross Today = $58.4 million

 

8. Bananas (1971)

Original Domestic Gross = $11.8 million; Average Ticket Price = $1.65; Estimated Gross Today = $58.3 million

 

9. Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989)

Original Domestic Gross = $18 million; Average Ticket Price = $3.99; Estimated Gross Today = $36.8 million

 

10. Interiors (1978)

Original Domestic Gross = $10.5 million; Average Ticket Price = $2.34; Estimated Gross Today = $36.6 million

I'll bet a lot of ANNIE HALL's gross was post-winning the Oscar. I'll also bet that, compared to most films in general, a very high % of its gross was in NYC, Boston, Philly, D.C., Chicago, L.A., and S.F.

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But he was specifically comparing New York to Los Angeles, so the point about other jurisdictions is irrelevant. 

 

And it wasn't until around the time of Annie Hall (1977) that most other big cities began allowing right turns on red in a few select intersections.  Washington DC didn't allow any right on red until late 1978, and unlike today, at that point it wasn't almost completely universal throughout the city.  The near universality didn't come about until later.

I seem to recall there was at least one One Way street within a few blocks of the White House that was Left Turn On Red. It was three, maybe four lanes wide - heading toward the Potomac - in the area of Independence and 7th SW. I can't say the exact date, and it may have been temporary to accomodate the Metro Rail (Amtrak) as D.C. was torn apart at the time.
 
Left turn on red on a one way street is logical, but there were few if any.
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I seem to recall there was at least one One Way street within a few blocks of the White House that was Left Turn On Red. It was three, maybe four lanes wide - heading toward the Potomac - in the area of Independence and 7th SW. I can't say the exact date, and it may have been temporary to accomodate the Metro Rail (Amtrak) as D.C. was torn apart at the time.
 
Left turn on red on a one way street is logical, but there were few if any.

 

 

There may have been a temporary allowance of left on red from H St (one way westbound at the time) to 19th (one way southbound) or from I St (one way eastbound) to 18th or 20th (one way northbound), which would have been logical, but it wouldn't have been at the time they first brought in right on red, since at that point the entire downtown area was exempt.  It took several years before people finally realized that right on red wasn't the end of the world, and began letting it migrate from the residential neighborhoods into at least some streets in the business areas.  Right now there's no left on red allowed in the District, only in Maryland and Virginia, so what you're talking about could have only taken place sometime in the interim period, and I don't remember it at all.

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There may have been a temporary allowance of left on red from H St (one way westbound at the time) to 19th (one way southbound) or from I St (one way eastbound) to 18th or 20th (one way northbound), which would have been logical, but it wouldn't have been at the time they first brought in right on red, since at that point the entire downtown area was exempt.  It took several years before people finally realized that right on red wasn't the end of the world, and began letting it migrate from the residential neighborhoods into at least some streets in the business areas.  Right now there's no left on red allowed in the District, only in Maryland and Virginia, so what you're talking about could have only taken place sometime in the interim period, and I don't remember it at all.

Thank you, Andy. This would have been 1971 or 1972 (i'm thinking). I've been google-mapping that area for reference to this post and it's quite a trip back in time. That one street I do remember may have been the only one - and temporary at that.
 
After all this conversation on the subject, I cannot recall any reference to it in Annie Hall.. now I've got something to look for the next time I watch.
:)
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Thank you, Andy. This would have been 1971 or 1972 (i'm thinking). I've been google-mapping that area for reference to this post and it's quite a trip back in time. That one street I do remember may have been the only one - and temporary at that.
 
After all this conversation on the subject, I cannot recall any reference to it in Annie Hall.. now I've got something to look for the next time I watch.
:)

 

Again, it's possible, but it would definitely have been temporary, and 6 or 7 years before right of red was allowed in any part of DC.

 

The reference to right on red in Annie Hall was near the start of the movie, when Woody's walking down the street kvetching with a friend of his who's trying to talk him into moving to LA.

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I'll bet a lot of ANNIE HALL's gross was post-winning the Oscar. I'll also bet that, compared to most films in general, a very high % of its gross was in NYC, Boston, Philly, D.C., Chicago, L.A., and S.F.

I think you're right about ANNIE HALL doing better at the box office after the Oscars -- I seem to remember Woody saying in an interview that that was the case.

 

And I'm guessing that you're also right that most of the gross was from big-city audiences.  (I saw it multiple times in Cincinnati the summer following its April 1977 release, although that was before the Oscar wins.)

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I think you're right about ANNIE HALL doing better at the box office after the Oscars -- I seem to remember Woody saying in an interview that that was the case.

 

And I'm guessing that you're also right that most of the gross was from big-city audiences.  (I saw it multiple times in Cincinnati the summer following its April 1977 release, although that was before the Oscar wins.)

Keep in mind that back then a decent film could still be made for four or five million dollars and it's a fact that Woody always shot his films a tight budgets. so a gross of almost $40 million would have been a huge hit for him.

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I think you're right about ANNIE HALL doing better at the box office after the Oscars -- I seem to remember Woody saying in an interview that that was the case.

 

And I'm guessing that you're also right that most of the gross was from big-city audiences.  (I saw it multiple times in Cincinnati the summer following its April 1977 release, although that was before the Oscar wins.)

Allen himself probably considers Cincinnati to be "flyover" territory.....Boone City in TBYOOL was probably Cincinnati.

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