Why You Don’t Need to Read Too Much into the Gay Rom-Com Weakbox Office


“Success has many fathers,”According to an old saying, “but failure is an orphan.”However, the orphan is not without forensic surgeons who are available to perform an autopsy. On Saturday, the Universal gay romantic comedy opened “Bros,” the Monday-morning quarterbacking began, as various corners of the internet came forward with their reasons why the film’s grosses were a disappointment.

Marketing was too focused on the fact that it was the first major-studio LGBTQ romcom! It was too white! It was confusing! The title was confusing! Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane aren’t big enough names to open a movie! People don’t go to rom-coms during Halloween season! People don’t go to rom-coms, full stop! They had many reasons. Sometimes, they were thoughtful. Sometimes.

If you’re familiar with “Bros” star and co-writer Eichner’s work on “Billy on the Street”Or “Difficult People,” then you know he didn’t sink quietly into the sunset. Sunday: Twitter Take-Over, Eichner noted, “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,” adding, “Everyone who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo should go see BROS tonight! You will have a blast!”

These tweets instantly got translated into contemporary reading comprehension and quick online tempers. “Billy Eichner called everyone who didn’t see ‘Bros’ a homophobe!”

‘Bros’ Flops at the Box Office – and the Marketing Didn’t Help | Analysis

So, what can we take from the disappointing opening weekend? “Bros”? ? With the notable exception of last spring’s Sandra Bullock-Channing Tatum vehicle “The Lost City,”Which Worldwide, grossed $191 millions, romantic comedies aren’t pulling a still-pandemic-gun-shy populace back into movie theaters the way that big action spectacles and franchises do. Heck, even Jennifer Lopez’s “Marry Me”Peacock was released the same day as the movie.

As for the actual timing — putting aside the detail of a massive hurricane pummeling the East Coast last weekend — Universal probably did “Bros”No favors moving it from the August slot (a time that has worked well in previous Judd Apatow productions). “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”And “Pineapple Express”) into the September 30 date vacated by “Mission: Impossible 7.”Audiences were already in Halloween spirit, so they were more attracted to it. “Smile”On the big screen “Hocus Pocus 2”Disney+

Macfarlane and Eichner may not have the same marquee power, “Bros”Co-stars and co-producers Guy Branum wisely observes Twitter that while earlier Apatow movies surrounded newcomers with familiar faces — Amy Schumer in “Trainwreck” had Tilda Swinton, John Cena, Bill Hader and LeBron James providing additional star wattage — “Bros”Instead, they made the bold decision to fill the entire cast with LGBTQ+ actors. This hilarious ensemble included the likes Branum, Ts Madison and Miss Lawrence, Eve Lindley and Jim Rash, as well as queer legends Harvey Fierstein, Amanda Bearse, and Guillermo Diaz.

‘Bros’ Review: LGBTQ+ Rom-Com Makes History, Yes, But Also Delivers the Rom and the Com

And if you’re asking yourself “Why aren’t there more openly queer megastars?” then you’re getting at what I think is the main takeaway regarding the financial performance of “Bros” – much of the underlying anxiety about how much money this movie does or doesn’t make ties into the notion that its performance will directly impact what LGBTQ+ productions get made next. Queer cinema has a rich history and has been around for a long time, although there have been some exceptions. Already, the major studios have shown that they are interested in queer films: not very. Even the success of “Brokeback Mountain” — which In 2005, $178 million was earned worldwide — didn’t jump-start that business model.

If Hollywood studios make queer movies with all the frequency of appearances of Halley’s Comet, then it places undue pressure on those films to be all things to all people. It is impossible for any one piece of art to achieve this because of the very multifaceted nature of the queer community. We should support queer art by queer artists, absolutely, but it doesn’t mean that “Bros”The canary in a coalmine that shows whether such work is possible “deserves”To be produced.

As of the writing of this article “Bros”It has been in theatrical release less than a week and we are just at the beginning of its existence within the culture. From “It’s a Wonderful Life”To “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”To “Clue”To “Josie and the Pussycats” — not to mention the first “Hocus Pocus” — film history is littered with box-office failures that eventually found their way into the hearts and minds of a broad audience, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from viewers who have actually seen “Bros” suggests that we haven’t heard the last of it.

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