Billy Eichner on Disappointing Bros Box Office: Straight People “Didn’t Show Up”

Billy Eichner’s new film Bros for Universal Pictures is one of the first gay rom-coms to be released by a major studio, and its box office performance will be carefully watched by studio suits, the LGBTQ+ community, and anyone else hoping that marginalized voices will get a big budget welcome into the mainstream. Unfortunately, Bros came in a disappointing fourth place in its first weekend, with only $4.8 million in ticket sales — about 40% less than expected — leading Eichner to tweet that straight people “just didn’t show up.”

Eichner stars in Bros opposite Luke Macfarlane, and he also co-wrote the script with the film’s director, proven hitmaker Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Neighbors, and both movies’ sequels). Reviews were mostly positive, with Bros receiving a 77 on Metacritic and over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, and as if that weren’t enough, it also got a boost from “famous and beloved straight man” Paul Rudd in a new installment of Billy on the Street.

But the movie faced a bigoted backlash, including a review bomb campaign. And according to Eichner, the resistance began even before that. “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,” he wrote, adding, “Uni convinced them not to. America, fuck yeah, etc etc.”

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.”

He concluded, “Everyone who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo should go see BROS tonight! You will have a blast! 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 in theaters now, though it may need a big second weekend to stay there. Check out Eichner’s Twitter thread below.