It’s been a rough month for Bros creator and star Billy Eichner, and unfortunately, the latest box office numbers won’t be leaving him in a better mood.
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In 2022, Universal Pictures released a total of three romantic comedies, starting with February’s Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson-led vehicle, Marry Me.
Telling the story of pop star Kat Valdez (Lopez), who after her engagement falls apart thanks to her discovery that her fiancé is unfaithful spontaneously decides to marry random crowd goer at one of her shows (Wilson), Marry Me made $49 million dollars against a $23 million dollar production budget.
The second was Bros, which Eichner disingenuously promoted as the “first rom-com about gay men ever produced by a major studio“.
Revolving around the story of two gay, New York city bachelors who consider giving up their life of constant sexual encounters in order to go steady with each other, Bros absolutely bombed at the box office, earning just $4.8 million dollars in its opening weekend.
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Further, after just one month on the global stage, it’s only managed to pull in a total of $11.5 million.
Even with its slim $22 million dollar production budget – the lowest of Universal’s three rom-coms – the film is shaping up to be one of the year’s most disastrous flops.
In the aftermath of this disaster, instead of accepting that his film just outright failed to find an audience, Eichner blamed Bros’ failures on straight people and homophobia.
“That’s just the world we live in, unfortunately,” tweeted Eichner on October 2nd. “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.”
“That’s disappointing but it is what it is,” he added.
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Well, if Eichner was upset about how the strawman version of straight audiences in his head reacted to his film, the recent box office of Universal Picutres’ third rom-com isn’t going to make him any happier.
Starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, Tickets to Paradise sees the two portray a divorced couple who find themselves reconnecting when they travel to Bali to stop their recent-college-graduate daughter from getting married to a guy she has only known for a month.
Tickets to Paradise opened in theaters on October 21st and, as of writing, has already brought in $22 million in the United States and Canada alone.
This means that after just one week, Clooney and Roberts’ latest team-up has grossed more in North America than Bros did globally with an extra three weeks of time.
Additionally, Ticket To Paradise has also grossed an additional $84.7 million outside of North America for a worldwide total haul of $107 million against a $60 million production budget.
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Though he’s laid responsibility for his box office failure squarely on the shoulders of straight people, the truth is that the blame lies with his own inability to endear himself or his work to audiences, both American or otherwise.
Aside from constantly bleating about how “Trump supporters have destroyed the heart and soul of America” whilst simultaneously claiming that they all have blood on their hands for being “backward, ignorant, racist and unforgivable,” the outspoken progressive activist positioned the act of seeing the film as a political statement.
During an August appearance the MTV Video Music Awards, Eichner claimed that he needed people to see Bros in order to send a message to “all the homophobes like Clarence Thomas, and all the homophobes on the Supreme Court, that we want gay love stories, and we support LGBTQ people and we are not letting them drag us back into the last century.”
“They are in the past, and Bros is the future,” he declared, before attempting to rally the crowd with the question, “Are you with me, VMAs?”
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Apparently, no one was with you, Billy.
In fact, audiences so completely rejected watching his gay rom-com in theaters that Universal actually moved up the film’s streaming release window in an attempt to recoup anything they could from the project.
Normally, a given Universal Pictures film will hit the NBC-owned Peacock streaming service 45 days after its theatrical release.
Bros made its way to streaming in less than 30.
Eichner is currently slated to return to the Lion King franchise as the voice of Timon for Disney’s Mufasa: The Lion King, due out in 2024.
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