Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway have had better weeks. Five days ago their new film Serenity hit theaters and it’s been mired in rough headlines since. After placing eighth in its opening weekend, bringing in a sad $4.8 million — the lowest number in Hathaway’s career thus far — reports have surfaced that the two stars couldn’t be more upset with how the film was rolled out.
Their anger is being directed at the distributor Aviron Pictures, which allegedly led McConaughey and Hathaway on that the film would be properly promoted before basically ghosting them until they found out that “no money would be forthcoming and the publicity blitz would have to be enough.”
According to sources at Deadline, the movie was supposed to open with a 2500-screen release and include significant TV spots. Instead of the latter happening, McConaughey and Hathaway allege that it only received nine TV spots in “obscure locales and not in any time slots that would have helped create awareness for the film.”
When they complained about a lack of promotion on TV — outside of, of course, McConaughey and Hathaway’s own promotional appearances — they were reportedly “fed excuses” or just flat out ignored. The two stars were finally given a truthful update that Aviron would not be doing a P&A spend right before they headed to Los Angeles for their press junket.
“McConaughey in particular is breathing fire over feeling like he was duped,” the report alleges. “The star asked Aviron to roll the film out slowly but was rebuffed, and sources said he was told that would interfere with an ancillary deal.”
It’s somewhat surprising that a film with a CGI shark could bomb. (Even The Meg which didn’t have nearly as much star power as McConaughey and Hathaway, Djimon Hounsou, Diane Lane and Jason Clarke.) But maybe you didn’t even know that a shark was somehow involved, because the premise of the film was pretty muddled in the trailer. One thing that did hold true: McConaughey’s words “They like to say everybody knows everything. Wouldn’t it be funny if the truth was that nobody knows anything?” In this case that applied at least to the promotional promises.