Billy Eichner disappointed by Bros box office: Straight people 'just didn't show up'

Bros tugged at critics' heartstrings with glowing reviews for the historic gay rom-com, but writer-star Billy Eichner is scratching his head over the film's underperformance at the box office.

Though the Billy on the Street performer indicated he was proud of the film (and its positive reception by audiences who did see it), he expressed dismay after the Universal project grossed a mere $4.8 million across its opening weekend in wide release.

He tweeted Sunday that "at one point a theater chain called Universal and said they were pulling the trailer because of the gay content," which set the stage for disappointment.

"That's just the world we live in, unfortunately," he continued. "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."

EW has reached out to Universal for comment.

Billy Eichner speaks onstage at the 2022 MTV VMAs at Prudential Center on August 28, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey.
Billy Eichner speaks onstage at the 2022 MTV VMAs at Prudential Center on August 28, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey.

Theo Wargo/Getty Billy Eichner slams 'all the homophobes in the Supreme Court' during his MTV VMAs speech earlier this year

Though major movie studios have funded queer-themed rom-coms before — including Kristen Stewart's Happiest Season and Joel Kim Booster's Fire Island, both of which went to streaming service Hulu — Bros marked the first time a theatrical company funded a mainstream romantic comedy following the courtship of two men (Eichner, Luke Macfarlane) with a predominantly LGBTQIA+ cast (Ts Madison, Miss Lawrence) of supporting characters.

"You want the world to see that you're more than this one thing," Eichner previously told EW of making the movie. "LGBTQ characters in mainstream projects have often been painted in very broad strokes. There's little nuance, we're one-dimensional or two-dimensional, the wacky neighbor or the best friend, counseling the leading lady on how her love life can be fulfilled. This was my opportunity to say that we're complicated people, we're hypocritical, we can change on a dime, we don't know what we want, we do know what we want, we're just human."

Bros is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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