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B.O. of the '00s: The Top Grossing LGBT-Related Films

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire December 11, 2009 at 6:20AM

The 2010s are fast approaching - 20 days and counting - and indieWIRE is continuing this weekly Friday chart devoted to glancing back at the past ten years. With a film opening each weekend as a starting point, iW is charting various sub-categories of 2000s film, focusing on their North American box office performance. This week, with Tom Ford's "A Single Man" opening in theaters, iW is looking back at the last ten years of box office for films with significant lesbian, gay, bisexual transgendered characters or themes (an occasionally difficult distinction to measure, so please feel free to comment on films that should or should not have been included).
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The 2010s are fast approaching - 20 days and counting - and indieWIRE is continuing this weekly Friday chart devoted to glancing back at the past ten years. With a film opening each weekend as a starting point, iW is charting various sub-categories of 2000s film, focusing on their North American box office performance. This week, with Tom Ford's "A Single Man" opening in theaters, iW is looking back at the last ten years of box office for films with significant lesbian, gay, bisexual transgendered characters or themes (an occasionally difficult distinction to measure, so please feel free to comment on films that should or should not have been included).

Since 2000, thirty-eight films with perhaps arguably LGBT related themes have grossed over $1 million. Very significant is that fact that, in the 1990s, fifty LGBT-related films grossed over $1,000,000, including five films ("The Birdcage," "In & Out," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," "Philadelphia" and "The Crying Game") which grossed over $50 million (and that number jumps to seven if you adjust for inflation). Only two did in the 2000s - "Brokeback Mountain" and "Bruno," that latter of which some argue was actually rather homophobic. Another distinction between the decades is that while in 1990s eight of the top ten releases were released by studios, only three were in the 2000s (though many of them were released by specialty subsidiaries of studios).

Additionally interesting is how much the Academy Awards came into play. Seven of the top ten grossers found grosses that were likely significantly boosted by major Oscar nominations. More over, four of the top five - "Brokeback Mountain," "The Hours," "Monster" and "Milk" - won one of the major categories. With "A Single Man"'s potential box office also partially relying on how potential awards notices for actors Colin Firth and Julianne Moore work out, it could likely be joining this trend.

Below are the 38 films that crossed the $1 million mark, a sadly low number considering the thousands and thousands of straight-themed films that did the same. Please note that while indieWIRE did extensive research to compile this list, it's always possible we missed a film - and "gay" can always be in the eyes of the beholder.

The poster for "Bruno."


Top Grossing LGBT-Related Films of the 2000s

1. Brokeback Mountain, 2005 $83,043,761
2. Bruno, 2009 $60,054,530
3. The Hours, 2002 $41,675,994
4. Monster, 2003 $34,469,210
5. Milk, 2008 $31,841,299
6. Rent, 2005 $29,077,547
7. Capote, 2005 $28,750,530
8. Frida, 2002 $25,885,000
9. Notes on a Scandal 2006 $17,510,118
10. Far From Heaven, 2002 $15,901,849
11. The Next Best Thing, 2000 $14,990,582
12. Y Tu Mama Tambien, 2002 $13,839,658
13. De-Lovely, 2004 $13,456,633
14. Kinsey, 2004 $10,254,979
15. Transamerica, 2005 $9,015,303
16. The Deep End, 2001 $8,823,109
17. Taking Woodstock, 2009 $7,460,204
18. Mulholland Drive, 2001 $7,220,243
19. Kissing Jessica Stein, 2002 $7,025,722
20. The Closet, 2001 $6,678,894
21. The Rules of Attraction, 2002 $6,532,619
22. Mambo Italiano, 2003 $6,253,026
23. C.R.A.Z.Y., 2005 $5,891,739
24. Bad Education, 2004 $5,211,842
25. Before Night Falls, 2000 $4,242,892
26. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 2001 $3,067,312
27. Walk On Water, 2005 $2,713,932
28. But I'm a Cheerleader, 2000 $2,205,627
29. Shortbus, 2006 $1,985,292
30. The Broken Hearts Club, 2000 $1,746,585
31. Camp, 2003 $1,629,862
32. Happy Endings, 2005 $1,315,701
33. Saving Face, 2005 $1,187,266
34. L.I.E., 2001 $1,138,836
35. Chuck and Buck, 2000 $1,055,671
36. A Home at the End of the World, 2004 $1,029,872
37. All Over The Guy, 2001, $1,022,324
38. My Summer of Love, 2004 $1,000,915


"B.O. of the '00s" is a weekly feature from indieWIRE running until the end of the year. Check out the previous editions:

B.O. of the '00s: The Top Grossing Female Helmed Films
B.O. of the '00s: The Top Grossing Foreign-Language Films
B.O. of the '00s: The Top Grossing Documentaries
B.O. of the '00s: The Top Grossing Sundance Films







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