"Maybe it's just a bad movie": Billy Eichner leaves internet divided by blaming homophobia for Bros low box office numbers

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Billy Eichner divides the internet by attributing the failure of "Bros" at the box office to homophobia.(via Universal/Bros)
Billy Eichner divides the internet by attributing the failure of "Bros" at the box office to homophobia.(via Universal/Bros)

In response to the underwhelming box office debut of his LGBTQ romantic comedy Bros, Billy Eichner expressed his sentiments, saying that "straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up."

The Universal movie, which is the first gay romantic comedy to be produced by a major Hollywood studio, opened to a meager $4.8 million and did not perform well in the south and most of middle America.

The movie had a dismal weekend at the box office, debuting in fourth place with a just $4.8 million total from 3,350 theaters. Despite having a low $22 million production budget, Bros is likely to struggle due to its underwhelming opening.

The top 10 markets for Bros were all located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. It fared well in a number of other big cities, including Chicago.

Even as the comedy genre suffers on the big screen and increasingly moves into the streaming space, Universal has remained in the industry. Producer Judd Apatow of Bros. and director-writer Nicholas Stoller, who oversaw the movie, are among the studio's longstanding collaborators.

The writer, producer, and actor of "Bros," Billy Eichner, said in a thread shared on his official Twitter that he is "extremely pleased" with the film and detailed his weekend attendance at a sold-out preview in Los Angeles.

Billy Eichner also said that a theatre chain had planned to remove the movie's trailer from its programming because of its "gay content," but Universal was able to persuade the firm to keep it in the pre-show rotation.

Following its global premiere at the 2022 Toronto Film Festival, Bros received praise from reviewers, and the studio received praise for embarking on the production. On Rotten Tomatoes, it now has a stellar reviewers' approval rating of 95%. It received an A CinemaScore from viewers who thought it was impressive.

Regarding the poor box office numbers, however, Eichner said:

“That’s just the world we live in, unfortunately. Even with glowing reviews, 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."

Billy Eichner's first leading role in a major studio film comes in Bros. The actor, who made his name with roles in Billy on the Street and Parks and Recreation on NBC, also stars in the movie alongside Luke Macfarlane and Harvey Fierstein.


Billy Eichner causes controversy online

On September 30, 2022, Bros was released in cinemas. Bros is the first openly LGBTQ-cast rom-com to have a significant theatrical distribution from a major studio. The romantic comedy centers on a nerdy podcast presenter who meets a lawyer.

Following Eichner's unfiltered comments, Twitter users had a lot to say about the movie as well:

Nevertheless, Bros has received raving reviews from critics and great viewership ratings. In the upcoming weeks, Universal will be hoping that word-of-mouth gives the movie some lasting power.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande