As ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ Tops Global Box Office, People Rush to Slam Its Marketing

In a time when the entire film industry is in flux, being top in the global box office is a pretty big deal. Most theaters in the U.S. and abroad are shut down thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic. Studio executives are rethinking how and when movies will premiere. Some are keeping their original premiere date but releasing in an on-demand format. Disney’s Onward and Universal’s Trolls World Tour went that route. Both were quite successful. In fact, Trolls made so much money that the head of Universal says all future movies will be released on-demand as well as in theaters. 

Interestingly, the movie that’s at the top of the global box office right now isn’t available on streaming services. In fact, it isn’t available in the U.S. at all. 

Timothée Chalamet smiling slightly to the side in front of a white background with a repeating logo
Timothée Chalamet | Mike Coppola/FilmMagic/Getty Images

A Rainy Day in New York was pulled by Amazon 

According to The Guardian, A Rainy Day in New York is a hit in South Korea, where the government is starting to lift strict lockdown protocols and re-open theaters. There are a few other countries where people can actually still pay to see a movie at the box office, but numbers are small right now. So far, even though A Rainy Day in New York is the highest-earning movie in the world right now, it only made $330,000 last weekend. 

The film is a romantic comedy about two college sweethearts on a trip to New York City. Timothée Chalamet plays the lead. And based on global reactions, plus his acting history, he was probably very good. U.S. audiences may have a hard time finding out. The movie was originally backed by Amazon, but it didn’t release it after controversy over the director: Woody Allen. 

Timothée Chalamet donated his entire salary thanks to the controversy 

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who’s going to watch tonight ? ☺️

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The movie was shot in 2017 and set to be released in 2019. In December of 2017, an op-ed was published by Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow. She alleged that the director molested her when she was a child. Allen denies the allegations, as reported by The New York Times. Allen dated his stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn, Dylan Farrow’s adopted sister, in the 1990s. His relationship with Previn began while Allen was still in a relationship with both Dylan and Previn’s mother, Mia Farrow

This behavior could have ended his career in a post #MeToo world, but Allen didn’t seem to suffer too much. Dylan’s accusations ended all that. Amazon decided not to release the movie, and Chalamet donated his entire salary to charity in an attempt to distance himself from the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

However, Chalamet’s attempts to get away from A Rainy Day in New York don’t seem to have worked. Now that the movie is being released internationally, some of the marketing is pinning the project on him. 

Marketing for A Rainy Day in New York has people miffed 

In what is almost certainly an attempt to get Allen as far away from the film as possible, Twitter users took notice that the marketing for A Rainy Day in New York seemed to be framing the movie as ‘Timothée Chalamet’s A Rainy Day in New York.” People who see this as a ploy are annoyed. 

What’s most annoying to people who have noticed this marketing tactic is it will likely work. As one Twitter user put it, “i HATE the way that this is being marketed as ‘timothée chalamet’s a rainy day in new york’ to distract from it being directed by woody allen because i know that it’s going to work and people are going to spend money on this film.” 

People are indeed spending money on the film, as evidenced by it being at the top of the global box office. The international community may not know about the controversy or that the project was Allen’s to begin with.