- Amazon Studios is considering cutting ties with Woody Allen on the heels of the #MeToo movement, according to The New York Times.
- The company is contractually obligated to release his next movie, “A Rainy Day in New York.”
- Amazon’s most recent Allen movie release, “Wonder Wheel,” only took in $US1.4 million domestically.
With the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements currently at their height, Amazon Studios has a big question it has to answer soon: Will it continue to work with Woody Allen?
Since the 1990s, the legendary director has denied the allegations that he sexually abused his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a child, but in a time when women’s stories of sexual misconduct have become louder than ever before, it seems Allen has become the next target. And it may affect him professionally.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Amazon – which has a multi-film contract with Allen and is to release his next one, “A Rainy Day in New York” – is in “serious conversations” to end its relationship with the director. (The Times cited “two people briefed on the matter.”)
Amazon released Allen’s latest movie, “Wonder Wheel,” in December, right when the #MeToo Movement was off and running and numerous high-profile men in Hollywood, media, and politics were being accused of sexual misconduct. The movie looks to have suffered from it, as it only made $US1.4 million domestically (it earned close to $US9 million internationally) on a budget of $US25 million, according to the Times.
Soon after the release of “Wonder Wheel,” Dylan Farrow called out actors who supported #MeToo but had also worked with Allen in a piece she wrote for the Los Angeles Times. Since then, many actors who have been in Allen’s films have publicly apologised to Farrow for working with him. And “Rainy Day” stars Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Hall have donated their salaries on the movie to charity.
So now Amazon doesn’t just have to go up against an image problem with one of its most high-profile directors, but it’s also likely the cast of “Rainy Day” won’t do any press for the movie once it’s set to open. Amazon currently has no release date set.
From a business perspective, if Amazon cuts ties with Allen it won’t be a major loss. The director hasn’t had a box-office hit in a while. Many of his recent releases have received rotten scores on Rotten Tomatoes, and his last four films have taken in a cumulative $US26.9 million domestically while carrying a collective $US85 million in production budgets, according to the Times.
Amazon also had difficulty booking “Wonder Wheel” in theatres, a source at the company told Business Insider. The widest release for “Wonder Wheel” was only 536 screens. It’s the first Allen movie to show on under 600 screens since 2010’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.“
Amazon Studios was not immediately available for comment.
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