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‘Bros’ Fails at the Box Office, as ‘Smile’ Arrives at No. 1

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There is no easy way to say it: When the reviews are this sensational, the marketing support is this substantive and the theatrical footprint is this wide — and ticket sales are nonetheless this low — it usually amounts to outright marketplace rejection. “Bros,” the first gay romantic comedy from a major studio, arrived to an estimated $4.8 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada, about 40 percent less than the low end of prerelease analyst expectations.

Universal Pictures booked “Bros” onto 3,350 screens and spent an estimated $30 million to $40 million to promote it. “Bros,” starring Luke Macfarlane and Billy Eichner, who also co-wrote the script, cost roughly $22 million to make.

It received mostly positive reviews. Yet it was a distant fourth at the weekend box office. “We’ll see where we go from here,” Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, said by phone on Sunday. “We’re incredibly proud of the film, and I really believe there is going to be great word of mouth.” Ticket buyers gave “Bros” an A grade in CinemaScore exit polls. “Smile,” a new horror movie from Paramount Pictures that cost an estimated $17 million to make, was No.

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