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What did Billy Eichner say about the gay rom-com movie Bros’ disappointing opening weekend?

The ground-breaking movie received positive reviews from the critics but has struggled at the box office.

Billy Eichner disappointed with Bros' opening weekend
Dia DipasupilGetty

New rom-com ‘Bros’ debuted in cinemas in the United States last week after making its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie, heralded as the first gay rom-com from a major studio, received a positive reception from critics but has so far struggled at the box office.

In the opening weekend the film took in just $4.8 million, despite being shown at 3,350 locations across the country. Universal Pictures had expected it to open with takings of between $8 million and $10 million.

Actor Billy Eichner, one of the movie’s leads, said that the opening weekend had been “disappointing” due to the lack of box office interest. Bros was fifth in the week’s rankings, according to Box Office Mojo.

On Sunday Eichner tweeted: “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.”

The 44-year-old has been credited as the first openly gay man to co-write and star in his own movie with a major film studio. He described it as a “special and uniquely powerful” story and encouraged audiences to watch it.

The movie’s budget was a fairly modest $22 million, but after spending another $30 million on promotion and advertising Universal is unlikely to make a profit on the ground-breaking film.

Eichner praises the film’s honesty

In an interview with CBS News shortly before the film was released, Eichner spoke to Jonathan Vigliotti about the importance of having LGBTQ representation in Hollywood, something that the industry has often struggled to accommodate.

The movie’s creator was asked why he believed it had taken so long for major studio to produce a mainstream gay rom-com:

“It’s a complicated topic, because in some ways Hollywood has often led the charge when it came to LGBTQ issues and representation,” he said. “And yet, underneath it all, I think there was always a fear that the quote-unquote mainstream audience wasn’t necessarily ready for this type of movie. And I think, because of that, a lot of our stories weren’t told.”

The film itself is broadly fictional, but Eichner said that covering a topic that he relates to had allowed him to get personal with the portrayal.

“For me to be an effective writer, a good artist, I needed to be able to be honest,” Eichner explained. “It’s all about honesty.”


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