‘Bruce’ box office bomb: Why Billy Eichner’s comedy flopped | Techno Glob

Billy Eichner’s Universal-backed comedy “Bruce” flopped at the box office with $4.8 million in its opening weekend, half of the $8 million to $10 million the studio had projected. Eichner, in a now-viral tweet, claimed that straight people not showing LGBTQ comics was a driving force behind the poor performance of “Bros.”

“Even with glowing reviews, a great Rotten Tomatoes score, a cinematic score, etc., straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for ‘Bros,'” Eichner wrote. “And it’s disappointing but it is what it is.”

Eichner is certainly right that some straight moviegoers were not interested in the content, while there is also the possibility of two men falling in love about homophobia. For example, during a recent trip to a multiplex in Georgia, this writer saw a group of men mocking an openly homophobic “Bruce” poster depicting a man with his hand on another man’s butt. keeps However, the $4.8 million opening for “Bros” is so low that it also means that many LGBTQ viewers didn’t even come to see the comedy in theaters. So why “Bros” disappointed?

The star power just wasn’t there.

As mentioned above, the official poster for “Bros” shows the two men back to back. why? Because leading stars Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane aren’t the only box office hit at this point in their careers. Coming out of the pandemic, star power has become all the more necessary to successfully open an original title that isn’t a superhero movie or a horror movie, two of the most enduring genres at the box office (see the $22 million opening of “Muskara” over the weekend). “Bullet Train” opened with $30 million with Brad Pitt front and center, while Viola Davis’ “The Woman King” opened with $19 million. Both films also had action set pieces to entice viewers, something “Bruce” lacked as a comedian, which only meant it needed more star power.

For the romantic comedy genre, star power is a must to get people out of the house that day. Paramount’s “The Lost City” hit $105 million in the U.S. on the strength of bringing A-listers Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum together (which included elements of adventure in its plot and a Brad Pitt cameo didn’t hurt). ), while the George Clooney-Julia Roberts rom-com “Ticket to Paradise” is already a hit overseas with $45 million ahead of its U.S. debut later this month. Without the star power, a rom-com seems better to take the streaming route than the theatrical route.

Marketing prioritized the importance of the film over the comedy of the film.

When “Bruce” was announced to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, a press release for the film called it “one of the first romantic comedies from a major studio with an almost entirely 2SLGBTQIA+ cast.” TV spots for “Bruce” preferred a pull quote that called the film “as funny as it is historical”. The point here is that “Bruce” marketing worked overtime to sell its importance as the first major LGBTQ studio comedy, but aggressively marketing a film as a glass ceiling breaker makes it feel like homework to viewers. could be Many box office pundits agree that Universal focused too much on the importance of the film instead of marketing some of the film’s comedy set pieces to get across that it’s a comedy, which is actually pretty funny. The film featured minimal marketing from the director of the popular comedies “Sarah Marshall” and “Neighbors,” if at all.

Marvel has been able to make superhero movies like “Black Panther” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” become the first comic book movies led by a black and Asian superhero, respectively, at the box office. Without much fuss. Because they’re the newest entry in the world’s most successful movie franchise (and the first time these hugely popular comic book characters have led their own movies). Warner Bros. highlighted the importance of “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018, but it had already built awareness based on a best-selling book. The film also wisely opened in August, so it may be slow at the box office and the slow theatrical release may dominate the buzz during the month.

While inclusion and breaking the glass ceiling are important elements to celebrate and create interest in a film, they cannot be the sole focal point of a film’s marketing. Just look at what happened to Warner Bros. “In the Heights,” which didn’t market its story or characters and instead went all-in on the film, became a game changer for Latino representation on the big screen. “In the Heights” bombed with a $11.4 million opening, though it was also available to stream on HBO Max at the same time (although streaming numbers were also reportedly lower).

Joe Cui’s August comedy “Easter Sunday” also seems to promote the historical nature of the film that represents the Filipino community on the laughs that will bring all moviegoers. The film also bombed, grossing just over $13 million worldwide on a $17 million budget.

October is a non-starter for rom-coms.

According to Box Office Mojo, only four of the 100 highest-grossing rom-coms have been released in October, and they’re not exactly genre titles: the 1979 Bo Derek vehicle “10” at No. 48; 2010’s Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel’s “Life As We Know It” at No. 84; John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale’s featherweight “Serendipity” at 91; And the magical tale “Practical Magic” is landing at No. 100. Obviously rom-coms don’t fly as high this time of year, and despite being released on the last day of September, Halloween fever had already taken over pop culture.

After all, the two most obvious genres of movies to get a date are historically rom-coms and horror, and given the overperformance of “Masquerade,” consumers clearly wanted their dates to be romance instead. Be restrained by fear.

A better move would have been to schedule it during a quiet week in September, like the 9th, with the only competition being the pre-spooky season horror flick “Barbarian” and the Bollywood superhero film “Brahmastra Part One: Shiva.” ” With the release date set for September 30th, social media was already flooded with #Halloween content, so why fight the inevitable?

Consumers were distracted by strong streaming releases.

The week “Bruce” was released also saw the debut of two blockbuster movies on streaming: the eagerly awaited Marilyn Monroe biopic “Blonde” on Netflix, and the horror family comedy “Hoxpox 2” on Disney+. Fans of Eichner’s Hollywood-infused wit will likely be tempted to stay home and watch any of these titles. With the recent release of the uber-viral “Dammer” series on Netflix — as well as the seasonally-appropriate horror Blizzard available at the push of a button — “Bruce” was likely surprised by the power of choice.

Has ‘The Bubble’ Ruined Judd Apatow?

Due to the film’s lack of star power, many promotional materials cited “Bros” producer Apatow as a major selling point. But his April film “The Bubble,” a painfully unflattering riff on the COVID culture that Netflix released, is drawing career-low scores from fans and critics on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. Has the super producer’s Midas touch slipped after his latest film failed to deliver?

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