Billy Eichner has opened up about Bros’ polarising marketing strategy in a new interview.

On 30 September, the highly anticipated LGBTQ+ romantic comedy hit theatres in the US.

Written by Eichner and Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors), with the latter also directing the film, Bros received rave reviews from critics and even earned an 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

However despite critical acclaim, the film landed in fourth place at the box office and only made $4.8 million in ticket sales.

During a panel at the New Yorker Festival with LGBTQ+ legend Harvey Fierstein, Eichner opened up about the film’s performance and defended its polarising marketing strategy (per Deadline).

“There wasn’t much of a blueprint for this movie when it came to the marketing and all that,” he said in response to Fierstein’s criticisms of Universal’s promotion campaign.

“[Universal] could not have been more supportive every step of the way. But it was a new type of movie for them, too.

“When Hollywood takes more than a century to release an R-rated gay rom-com and to do this wide of a release with a movie like this, there isn’t much of a blueprint to follow.”

Before landing in theatres, the film was marketed as the first gay romantic comedy released by a major studio.

While Universal hoped that the history-making achievement would be a “motivating factor,” Echiner said that the film is more than its promotional adverts.


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“The marketing is not the movie, and the tweets are not the movie and the discourse – especially from those who have not seen the movie – is not the movie,” he said.

“The movie is the movie, and the movie is one that makes a lot of people happy and that I’m really proud of.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the Billy On The Street star expressed the importance of having an all-LGBTQ+ cast lead the film vs straight A-list movie stars.

“We could have easily thrown Chris Evans into the Luke McFarlane role. But we didn’t because, for us, it was important to give a number of openly LGBT actors a chance to star in a movie even though they weren’t movie stars,” he explained.

Towards the end of the panel discussion, Echiner doubled down on his Twitter statements from 2 October in which he blamed homophobia for Bros lacklustre box office performance.

“Homophobia is a bigger problem than how it pertains to this silly rom-com. But do I think it’s a factor? Yes, in certain parts of the country, I think it was a factor,” he said.

“Though, to be honest, we really didn’t make the movie for homophobes anyway. This is an R-rated gay rom-com.

“It was never intended as a movie to try to convince people who don’t like gay people that we’re normal and soft and cuddly, and okay to love. It’s so not that movie.”

Bros will be released in the UK on 28 October.