He’s a straight shooter.
Billy Eichner has complained that straight people “just didn’t show up” to his new gay romantic comedy after it bombed at the box office on opening weekend.
“Bros” — which is produced by Judd Apatow and reportedly cost $22 million to make — garnered buzz for being the first gay romantic comedy from a major studio, but it brought in a paltry $4.8 million since its release Friday.
Eichner — who is the movie’s lead star and co-writer — took to Twitter to express his disappointment over the dire numbers with a controversial take that quickly garnered backlash.
“Last night I snuck in and sat in the back of a sold out theater playing ‘Bros’ in LA. The audience howled with laughter start to finish, burst into applause at the end, and some were wiping away tears as they walked out. It was truly magical. Really. I am VERY proud of this movie,” the 44-year-old began.
“Rolling Stone already has ‘Bros’ on the list of the best comedies of the 21st century. What’s also true is that at one point a theater chain called Universal [the studio behind the movie] and said they were pulling the trailer because of the gay content. (Uni convinced them not to). America, f–k yeah, etc etc.”
Eichner then declared: “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.”
Eichner subsequently implored that “everyone who ISN’T a homophobic weirdo” go to a cinema to see ‘Bros’ as soon as possible.
However, the comedian was quickly blasted by gay and straight Twitter users alike, many of whom accused him of “shaming” people for not seeing the film.
” ‘See my movie or you’re a homophobe’ is a hell of a marketing pitch,” one stunned person responded.
One gay critic hit back at Eichner, declaring: ” ‘Bros’ bombing at the box office is a failure of ego. Billy Eichner is a B-list star, not a leading man, and nobody is going to theaters to watch a random rom com in 2022. For Billy to assume it would be a blockbuster just because he’s gay and ‘funny’ is pure Hollywood narcissism.”
Many added that other films about gay men — including “The Birdcage” and “Brokeback Mountain” — performed strongly at the box office and insisted that “Bros” simply didn’t look like an enjoyable movie.
Earlier this year, Eichner described Hollywood as “homophobic” — despite the fact it greenlit “Bros.”
“Hollywood has often been very accepting on the surface but very homophobic underneath the surface and very hypocritical,” he told Page Six at the MTV Movie and TV Awards in June.
“And a lot of decisions have been made based on fear — fears that I think are often irrational — and yet, people were scared,” he continued. “You know, a lot of it was based around what they think the mainstream audience would or would not accept. And that’s pretty infuriating when you think about it.”