Bros: Billy Eichner’s Gay Rom-Com, Critically Acclaimed, Commercially Failure

‘Bros’ Flops, Opening with Only $4.8M

Bros, the first gay rom-com from a major Hollywood studio, prospered in major cities such as L.A. and N.Y. while getting spurned in much of Middle America and the South.

Universal and Nicholas Stoller’s high-profile Bros, the first gay romantic comedy from a major Hollywood studio (Universal has been lauded for taking on the project).

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press, August 2015).

The movie, which cost a modest $22 million to make, opened behind already modest expectations with $4.8 million from 3,350 theaters after earning $1.8 million on Friday.

Starring Billy Eichner, Bros was embraced by critics following its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto Film Festival. It presently boasts a glowing 95 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences agreed, giving it an A CinemaScore.

Parker Finn‘s debut feature Smile scared up a strong $22 million from 3,645 theaters to top the weekend chart. The horror pic started off with $8.2 million on theaters on Friday — including $2 million in previews. To boot, it cost just $17 million to make.

From Paramount Players and Temple Hill, Smile is about a therapist (Sosie Bacon) who meets a graduate student (Caitlin Stasey) who recently witnessed a gruesome suicide. Jessie T. Usher Kyle Gallner, Robin Weigert and Kal Penn co-star.

Smile is the latest commercial win for Paramount, and particularly for its marketing department, led by Marc Weinstock when at 20th Century Fox, he oversaw the maverick campaign for Deadpool.

Smile‘s campaign went viral in recent days when Paramount hired several people to maintain the film’s signature creepy smile when sitting behind home base at several major league baseball games.

“It was the exclamation point on a great campaign,” says Paramount president of production Chris Aronson.

Elsewhere, Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling fell off steeply in its sophomore outing. The New Line film earned $2.4 million on Friday from 4,121 locations for a $7.3 million weekend, a 62 percent drop and putting the movie’s 10-day domestic total at $32.8 million.

Tri-Star’s The Woman King came in No. 3 with $7 million from 3,504 cinemas — down just 36 percent — in its third weekend for a domestic cume nearing $47 million.

The rerelease of Avatar continues to please and earned $4.7 million from 1,860 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $18.1 million and $58.1 million globally.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend was the sweeping Indian epic PS-1Ponniyan Selvan Part One, which opened to an estimated $4.1 million from only 500 locations in the U.S. The Tamil-language film was dubbed in four other Indian languages. Nearly 30 percent of its earnings came from Imax screens.

Globally, PS:1 earned $2.1 million for Imax, the third biggest showing every for an Indian title. (Imax also continues to do nicely by the Avatar rerelease, contributing a global total of $10.7 million to date.)