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Billy Eichner Blames Bros Bombing At The Box Office On Straight People. So What Went Wrong?

The heavily promoted gay rom-com Bros flatlined at the box office, and comic Billy Eichner, who co- wrote and stars in the film is addressing why the film didn't do as well as he had hoped.

via Complex:

In a series of tweets posted on Sunday, Eichner discussed how Bros, his groundbreaking LGBTQ romantic comedy, elicited a range of emotions from moviegoers in a sold-out showing in Los Angeles, despite its poor box office showing.

Eichner also pointed out that Rolling Stone heaped praise on the film.

Eichner went on to not that despite the film’s stellar reviews, audiences failed to show up, calling it “disappointing.”

“Everyone who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo should go see BROS tonight! You will have a blast!” Eichner added.

Per Deadline, Bros is estimated to earn $4.8 million, below the film;s expectations. Jim Orr, the studio’s domestic distribution boss, spoke highly of what he believed to be “the funniest film of the year,” adding, “As evidenced by our very enthusiastic audience and critical reaction scores, which will no doubt lead to great word of mouth as Bros continues to find its audience in the coming weeks.”

Bros is the first gay romantic comedy from a major studio, and a big leap forward for Eichner, who has long been one of the most exciting talents in American comedy. Perhaps sensing that his tweets may have offended some, Eichner later apologized for his previous tweets.

“Being an openly gay man and a loud and proud part of the LGBTQ+ community is one of the things I am most proud of in my whole damn life,” he wrote. “And from the bottom of my heart I truly am so sorry if I inadvertently offended or insulted anyone. I really am. Thank you.”

While it's great that audiences in LA were howling with laughter, as Eichner pointed out, I'm not surprised that Bros was a flop. Here's why.

1. You released the film around October, which is around the time where fans are gearing up for Halloween and want to watch horror movies, hence why Smile was the #1 movie at the box office. Plus the gays (and nostalgic straights with children) were at home watching Hocus Pocus 2. I saw more people tweeting about and posting their reviews on Facebook about HP2 than Bros, so I knew from there Bros was in danger. Which brings me to...

2. Streaming: I believe Bros should have been released on a streaming service instead of the theater, because I don't know if Billy realizes this, but not every queer person adheres to the type of gays represented in the film. Those queer people who live outside of the LA/NY bubble (you know, middle 'Murrica) may not be comfortable enough to want to watch a gay film in the theater. So streaming may have been the way to go - even though a few months ago he did kind of thumb his nose at streaming, saying Bros is not "some streaming thing that feels disposable."

3. He should have released it during Pride Month like Fire Island, which did quite well on Hulu.

4. Why is Billy pandering Bros to a straight audience, when the LGBTQ community are the ones he should be marketing the film to? If the straights want to come and see it, that’s fine, and some have. But the focus should be on telling a good story that has a diverse, queer cast instead of pushing this agenda that it's the first all queer film that's backed by a major studio. It tends to feel like a homework assignment than an actual groundbreaking achievement (see In The Heights and Easter Sunday as prime examples).

5. While I have yet to see the film, and with the casting of Ts Madison, Miss Lawrence, and Guillermo Diaz, I heard from people that I know who have seen the film that they felt the film wasn't diverse enough. Were the characters of color given a lot to do in regards to the storyline, or were they just tacked on the check the diversity box - an issue I've noticed with a lot of films and TV shows. I won't know until I've seen the film, so I can't say whether or not in my own opinion if the film lacked diversity.

6. Casting: Two things - Billy Eichner and Luke McFarlane are not household names, and the fact that both aren't big box office names might have hurt the film. Billy is mostly known for his hit series Billy on the Street, and stand up, and Luke is a TV actor who's mostly known for doing Hallmark films.

If they would have cast Neil Patrick Harris or maybe Jim Parsons in the Billy role, maybe it would have helped the numbers. Then again, star driven films and box office success doesn't have the same meaning these days like they used to.

Overall I heard the movie is really funny, and I do want to go to the movies and see it. However, I wasn't able to this past weekend because I had other endeavors to attend to. I'll check it out when I can, and I'll revisit this conversation.

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