Speaking of Focus Features and Ian McShane, he's in the new Woody Allen movie - Scoop - coming out this weekend - and, is it just me or is this quietest release of a Woody Allen movie in awhile? Well, compared to Match Point at any rate. I suppose Anything Else was dumped pretty unceremoniously on the world as well.
But considering that Scarlett Johansen is in it alongside Hugh Jackman, and Woody himself, and McShane, you'd think there'd be more publicity on this one. Not a good sign. The reviews are certainly mixed so far, with some critics liking it, some not at all, and most agreeing it's a bit of a trifle (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).
Update! I got this nice e-mail from someone who works for the company involved in marketing the film (and thus doesn't want to ruffle any feathers - not that this would), but had some insider thoughts on the Hows and Whys behind Scoop's marketing.
SCOOP is the first Allen film to not be handled by DreamWorks in quite sometime, the first to be handled by a smaller studio since Sony Pictures Classics released SWEET & LOWDOWN. I can tell you that we looked at the numbers for each of those films (special attention paid to both Match Point--his best box office in ages-- and Small Time Crooks--his best box office comedy with DreamWorks), saw where they performed strongest and used our best judgement from there. The 538 theatre count may seem small (Match Point rolled out to this point in over two months' time), but we chose 500 theatres that Woody Allen films have always performed very well in. I can tell you that the Focus team has very high hopes for the movie. It seems to have worked so far. If it proves to work even more and be a breakout that crosses over, you may even see that theatre count jump.
I hope that answers your question... I feel like some studio schill (which I really am now) trying to defend a piece of shit, but really I promise I'm not. I'm just a fellow film lover.