Serenity stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are angry after the films first weekend release. Serenity provided both the actor and actress with the worst opening numbers of their careers and the film itself finished in eighth-place finish for its opening weekend, and made just $4.4 million. For two critically acclaimed stars, such low numbers are usually unheard of.

McConaughey says the film company producing the movie is to blame. Aviron Pictures is a film, talent and marketing company that specializes in dramas like their 2018 thriller/horror movie The Strangers. When McConaughey and Hathaway were hired they were originally told the films budget was large and money would be allotted for publicity spending. However, after the company allegedly used their budget on another production, A Private War, they cut spending for Serenity and told the stars that the publicity blitz would have to be enough.

Both McConaughey and Hathaway didn’t agree. McConaughey asked producers multiple times to roll the film out slowly. He believed they should create awareness for the film slowly and strategically, and not all at once. But, the actors pleas were ignored. Hathaway and McConaughey believed the company handled the situation unprofessionally. When no television ads were scheduled, the stars knew something was amiss.

Though initially declining to comment on the situation, Aviron Pictures issued a statement.


“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.” a distributor of the company stated.

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