Despite glowing reviews and a robust marketing campaign for the LGBTQ romantic comedy “Bros,” the Billy Eichner-fronted film tumbled at the box office on opening weekend. And Eichner – who also co-wrote the film with director Nicholas Stoller – puts the blame on straight people not showing up.
“Rolling Stone already has ‘Bros’ on the list of the best comedies of the 21st century. What’s also true is that at one point a theater chain called Universal and said they were pulling the trailer because of the gay content (Uni convinced them not to),” Eichner said on Twitter. “America, f—- yeah, etc etc.”
“Bros” was crafted as a Hollywood romantic comedy with two men as the romantic leads, and was marketed as the first major studio film with members of the LGBTQ+ community in every major role on screen.
“That’s just the world we live in, unfortunately,” Eichner continued on Twitter. “Even with glowing reviews and great Rotten Tomatoes scores, an A CinemaScore etc., straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for ‘Bros.’ And that’s disappointing but it is what it is.”
Eichner recounted his experience seeing the film with a full theater – “the audience howled with laughter start to finish, burst into applause at the end, and some were wiping away tears as they walked out” – saying it was “truly magical” and reiterating he was “VERY proud of this movie.”
Projected for an $8-10 million opening against a $22 million budget, “Bros” grossed just $4.8 million this weekend and opened in fourth place, with turnout coming primarily from the nation’s top three markets: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The “Billy on the Street” star concluded his Twitter thread with an earnest plea to see the film on the big screen, noting how significant this moment is for the LGBTQ community.
“Everyone who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo should go see ‘Bros’ tonight! You will have a blast! And it *is* special and uniquely powerful to see this particular story on a big screen, esp for queer folks who don’t get this opportunity often. I love this movie so much.”
“Bros” is now playing exclusively in theaters.