Billing itself as the first gay rom com from a major studio and featuring an all LGBTQ+ main cast, Universal Pictures releases Bros on September 30th. Nicholas Stoller (director of successful comedies Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Neighbors) is behind the camera with Judd Apatow producing. Billy Eichner of Billy on the Street fame stars alongside Luke Macfarlane. The supporting cast includes Ts Madison, Monica Raymund, Guillermo Diaz, Guy Branum, Amanda Bearse, Jim Rash, Dot-Marie Jones, Bowen Yang, Harvey Fierstein, and Debra Messing.
While this particular humorous tale is making some history, it’s rare nowadays to find any comedy getting a wide release (at least one that’s not animated or filled with action). Bros premiered at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month to glowing reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 94%.
Prognosticators have the range here at $10-15 million. That sounds reasonable and I suspect it’ll start out at the middle of that spectrum. It’ll likely have to settle for a second place showing behind horror pic Smile. However, I could see this legging out well when word-of-mouth gets out. As an aside, I saw Bros at TIFF and can confirm it should be quite the crowdpleaser.
Bros opening weekend prediction: $12.1 million
For my Smile prediction, click here:
Smile Box Office Prediction
Bros has made quite the splash in its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival prior to its September 30th stateside rollout. This is the first rom com to feature a primarily LGBTQ+ cast. Nicholas Stoller, who’s helmed successful genre fare like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Neighbors, directs. Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane are the lead couple with a supporting cast including Ts Madison, Monica Raymond, Guillermo Diaz, Guy Branum, Amanda Bearse, Bowen Yang, and Debra Messing.
Early word out of Canada is that this is an entertaining and alternately sweet and raunchy romp (something I can confirm having been at the world premiere last night). The Rotten Tomatoes meter stands at 89%. I’m not sure Bros is as much an Oscar player (where there’s a comedic allergy) as it is a Globes contender. Since they differentiate between Drama and Musical/Comedy, I could easily see the Hollywood Foreign Press nominating this for Best Picture and for Eichner in Best Actor.
That said, I wouldn’t say its Academy hopes are completely dashed. There’s usually a lone screenplay nominee that receives no other nods and Stoller and Eichner’s original screenplay could fit that particular bill. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…
Janicza Bravo’s Zola (or @zola) is certainly a film of its time. The biographical dramedy is based on a series of Tweets that went viral and led to a Rolling Stone article. Taylour Paige is the title character – a part-time stripper whose adventures in Tampa are chronicled here. Costars include Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun, Colman Domingo, Ar’iel Stachel, and Ts Madison.
Released Wednesday on approximately 1400 screens, Zola is picking up some buzz following its well-regarded screening at Sundance in January. It should make its meager $3 million budget back in its first few days of release. Critics have taken notice too and it sports an 88% Rotten Tomatoes rating. As a side note – this was originally slated for James Franco to direct before his personal scandals canceled that possibility.
Distributor A24 could mount an awards campaign. Paige turned some heads late last year in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and is being heralded with this headlining showcase. Zola could also be the first Adapted Screenplay contender originated from the omnipresent social media platform.
My guess is that the subject matter may be a tad too left field for the Academy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some critical branches have this on their radar screen at the end of the year. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…