Bros, the first gay romantic comedy movie from Universal Pictures, flopped at $4.8M despite good critic reviews and rigorous marketing. The studio booked 3,350 theatres, which cost them around $30M to $40M to promote the movie.
Universal’s Bros stars Luke Macfarlane and Billy Eichner, who also co-wrote the script. The filming cost around $22 million to make, and it initially received positive reviews. This is why it’s depressing to see such a number flash at the box office list. It was projected for an $8-10M opening against its own budget, but the film only grossed $4.8M and opened fourth place this week.
Universal’s Bros Struggled Despite Rigorous Marketing
Marketing for Universal’s Bros started in May and was brought to several film festivals in August and September. It even had an exclusive screening across the United States. Eichner also promoted the film on different talk shows. Even huge artists such as Mariah Carey, Chris Evans, and Seth Rogen did their share of promoting the film.
Billy.. if we keep wearing each other’s shirts, people will undoubtedly find out about our secret love affair!! 😜❤️
but also.. WATCH BROS, EVERYONE!!!! OUT NOW!!! 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 https://t.co/QzNC61qskH
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) September 30, 2022
Still, the movie struggled to reach its target audience despite featuring an all-LGBTQ cast. A film highly praised by critics, yet ticket sales show the opposite result, certainly suggests that the general viewers are still not ready to see same-sex relationships on screen.
Many would wonder what went wrong, but the answer is very obvious – either the movie was not hyped up as the producers expected, or the audience just did not want to see two gay men sharing flirtatious looks on screen. David Gross, a film consultant, said that romantic films saw a struggle thriving in theatres nowadays. Unlike blockbuster superhero movies or films from huge franchises, romantic comedy movies usually perform well on streaming sites like Netflix.
The World Is Still Not Ready For Queer Movies
Eichner said on Twitter via The Wrap, “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 also recalled how the exclusive screening of the movie filled the whole theatre with laughter and applause. Eichner was very proud of the film, and it was a truly magical experience for him.
Because of the pandemic, many films have struggled to find their way to theatres. Even post-pandemic, going to movies is still a hassle, especially when there’s an easy way to access entertainment through streaming platforms.