Woody Allen's latest film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, has earned mostly rave reviews, and it's doing well at the box office -- or, that is, it's doing well for a Woody Allen film. It opened in 10th place for the weekend of Aug. 15-17, the first time an Allen film has cracked the top 10 at all (let alone opened there) since Small Time Crooks, eight years and eight movies ago. And Small Time Crooks was the first one since Husbands and Wives, eight years and eight movies before that.

I wouldn't say there's ever been a time when Allen's films routinely made the top 10 -- he's always managed to release a total flop here and there to break up the streak -- but it certainly used to occur much more frequently than it does now. Manhattan opened at #1 in 1979, possibly the only Allen film ever to do so. (I can't find specific weekend data on Annie Hall, which is the only other likely candidate.) Various others have spent at least a couple weekends in the top 10. Still, no Allen film has ever been what you'd call a "blockbuster." His biggest hit, Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), made $40 million and never got higher than 5th place at the box office. Granted, if you adjust for inflation, Annie Hall's $38 million would be about $120 million today, and that would be considered fantastic for a low-budget indie. But it's still not commensurate with how beloved and acclaimed Allen is.

Consider this: Woody Allen has directed 38 theatrical features. The Dark Knight has made more money than all 38 of them combined. Isn't it strange that one of the most iconic American filmmakers of all time can barely scrape together a crowd to actually watch his movies?