"Serenity" only brought in $4.4. million during its opening weekend and received a 23 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
According to Deadline, who reported the news on Wednesday, the Oscar-winning actors and director Steven Knight aren't happy with the studio, as "Serenity" finished in eighth-place in its opening weekend and only brought in $4.4. million.
The publication explained that Aviron had agreed to put up a P&A (print and advertising budget) commensurate with a 2500-screen release, while McConaughey and Hathaway agreed to complete a full promotional campaign. As we noticed from their many stops at late-night and daytime talk shows, it seems that the actors lived up to their end of the deal.
However, according to Deadline, McConaughey and Hathaway, along with their CAA reps, believe they were "fed excuses and got a lot of unreturned calls when TV spots didn't show up and it became clear to them Aviron wasn't going to support the movie and was essentially dumping it." Sources also told the publication that it wasn't until the night before the "Serenity" junket that Aviron admitted that there would be no P&A spend.
To make matters worse, the film didn't get good reviews and only received a 23 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Through the small amount of marketing the film had, "Serenity" seemed to possess a high-concept mystery that many would want to see get solved on screen. The thriller apparently has a huge twist in the movie, but unfortunately, it wasn't enough to get viewers to the theater last weekend.
Aviron originally declined to comment on the situation, but eventually released a statement, below.
"We had the best intentions for Serenity. We were excited for the opportunity to release this uniquely original movie and work with such a stellar cast and talented filmmakers. As much as we love this film and still hope it finds its audience, we tested and retested the film -- with audiences and critics alike — and sadly, the data demonstrated that the film was not going to be able to perform at our initial expectations, so we adjusted our budget and marketing tactics accordingly. Regardless of the spend, it’s next to impossible for an adult-skewing drama to overcome a 23% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a D+ CinemaScore. To have spent more would have been irresponsible to our capital partners and wouldn’t have made prudent business sense for an independent distributor. We have enormous respect and admiration for the talent and all the hard work they put into the film and wish the box office results were better."
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