Universal Pictures romantic comedy Bros came far below expectations at the box office over its opening weekend. Starring Billy Eichner and directed by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Bros was marketed heavily as an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy from a major studio and was just narrowly beat out as the first one with an openly LGBT cast by Fire Island, which was released on Hulu on June 3, 2022. With legendary comedy producer Judd Apatow producing it, Bros had some high expectations set upon it.
Bros was originally set to open in theaters on August 12, 2022, but the film was delayed to September 30, 2022. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Bros received positive reviews from critics, currently sitting at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. While Bros was the target of homophobic review bombing, audiences who actually went to go see the movie were satisfied as it earned an A grade from CinemaScore, indicating the movie had strong box office potential.
It appears, though, that Bros has found itself in the position of many recent studio comedies as it has struggled at the box office. According to Variety, Bros grossed $4.8 million in its opening weekend to come in at number 4 at the box office behind Smile, Don’t Worry Darling, and The Woman King. Bros opening weekend is well below box office expectations which suggested the film could open between $8 to $10 million.
How Will Bros Fare at the Box Office in the Coming Weeks?
Bros budget of $22 million for Universal Pictures means it was not a major investment, but the film might struggle to make its money back at the box office over the coming weekends. October will have major releases like Halloween Kills and Black Adam looking to draw in big crowds. Universal Pictures also has another comedy, Ticket to Paradise starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts set for release on October 21, 2022, that has already been performing well internationally. Bros best chance to recoup its budget will likely be when the film is released for paid video on demand and streaming.
Bros’ disappointing box office opening is just another in a long list of recent studio comedies that have failed to live up to expectations. Universal Pictures’ previous comedy, Easter Sunday opened in seventh place at the box office with an opening weekend of $6 million, putting it above Bros. Even before the pandemic, comedies were a genre struggling at the box office, and since theaters reopened it has been a genre that continues to struggle at drawing audiences out to the theater, but is one that has become incredibly viable for streaming. Despite Bros less than stellar box office, it was an important move to release it in theaters and the story of the film is far from over.