“The Brothers,” a new queer romantic comedy starring Billy Eichner, caused a lot of talk last week. Last weekend, Eichner’s film had no box office receipts during its debut, prompting the actor to share some thoughts on social media. Eichner expressed disappointment about the $4.8 million haul and stated that homophobia affected things and that straight people didn’t watch the movie. Since then, many people have shared different opinions about the approval of the star. Now director Nicholas Stoller is weighing in on his protagonist’s controversial tweets.
Sharing his thoughts on Twitter, Billy Eichner emphasized that “natural people, especially in some parts of the country, simply did not appear on Bros.” This is one of the highlights that has been discussed by box office analysts, critics and the general public over the past few days. Nicholas Stoller did not shy away from discussing this issue during a long interview with The Hollywood Reporter. According to Stoller, Eichner “told the truth” because the data on the number of viewers they received coincided with the actor’s assessment:
“[As for his recent tweet], he told the truth. We got the data back. Gay people are the only people who have watched the movie. Not that he said anything false or wrong. people don’t go to the movie theaters for comedies. But I also think people saw it and thought, “This story is not my story. Why would I watch this?” And they’ll gradually discover it, because that’s what’s happened to most of the films I’ve directed, with the exception of “Neighbors,” when people find out about it when it comes out into the world. I think a lot of people are still afraid to go to cinemas, and a lot of people will see it streamed.”
There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the theatrical viability of comedies. Many of them have made meager profits compared to the significant figures they brought decades ago. And, according to his comments, Nicholas Stoller believes that this trend — and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic — contributed to the film’s low return. Later in the interview, Stoller doubled down on his feelings and also made assumptions about the long-term audience of the film:
There are several factors that were discussed in connection with the poor showing of the film on the first weekend, when “Smile” dominated. Some experts have analyzed the star power of the cast, which (primarily) consists of all LGBTQ+ actors. The effectiveness of Universal Pictures’ marketing campaign, in which much attention was paid to the historical nature of the film, was also questioned.
But before the release of the movie “Brothers” received the first positive reviews after the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month. Queer romcom later received positive reviews from critics. Cory Cicizola of CinemaBlend called the comedy a riot with a fresh look. In the run-up to his debut, Billy Eichner also promoted the film in several ways, one of which was that he humorously brought in Paul Rudd to encourage straight people to watch it.
Although they are clearly unhappy with the reception at the box office, Nicholas Stoller, Billy Eichner and Co. they are still proud of their film. Stoller also rightly noted that a number of films are indeed generating new interest through streaming and/or PVOD. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s the case eventually.
Now you can see Bros in cinemas and be sure to check out the schedule of upcoming CinemaBlend films to be aware of other high-profile productions coming out this year.