Billy Eichner on 'Bros' Disappointing Box Office Debut: 'Straight People' Just 'Didn't Show Up'

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Billy Eichner is weighing in on the debut of his film Bros, and reflecting on why he thinks it didn't manage to rake in huge returns despite a stellar critical response.

"Last night I snuck in and sat in the back of a sold out theater playing BROS in LA. The audience howled with laughter start to finish, burst into applause at the end, and some were wiping away tears as they walked out," Eichner write, as part of a series of tweets, on Sunday. "It was truly magical.  Really. I am VERY proud of this movie."

Eichner -- who co-wrote and starred in the rom-com -- also looked back at the accomplishments of the project, and the hurdles the studio had to clear just getting onto screens.

"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). America, f**k yeah, etc etc.," he wrote. "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," he continued. "And that’s disappointing but it is what it is."

The comic finished his series of posts by encouraging everyone "who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo" to check the heartfelt comedy out.

"You will have a blast!" he wrote, adding, "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. GO BROS!!!"

Bros is the first gay rom-com to be produced and distributed by a major studio with a wide theatrical release, and the first to feature an entirely LGBTQ+ ensemble cast.

Despite a sizable marketing push, the film opened in fourth place, raking in $4.8 million despite opening on 3,350 screens across the country. While the film's budget was a comparably low $22 million, it may be hard for the studio to make a profit on the project, and some have speculated that it could scare off studios from pursuing similar LGBTQ+ centric romcoms in the future.

Recently, Eichner and co-star Luke Macfarlane spoke with ET's Rachel Smith and reflected on the movie and its significance.

"We started out with this idea of what happens when two people who really really pride themselves on not needing a relationship and not wanting intimacy and romance in that way, and what happens when they fall for someone. You know, how do they navigate that? And that’s really interesting,” Eichner says. “We thought that could be very funny and also very moving.” 

As a result, the movie mixes very universal moments with real genuine experiences. “The truth is, we learn to fall in love and understand and laugh and cry with these straight couples falling in love,” Macfarlane says. 

And with Bros, he adds, “I think straight audiences are maybe gonna have the same experience about watching a gay couple fall in love, and see that it’s kind of similar in a lot of ways.” 


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