Today in Gay History: 'The Kids Are All Right'

7.30.2013

By Andrew Belonsky

Movie about lesbian moms and their sperm donor had wider-than-expected audience.

Producers weren't sure how wide an audience they'd receive for The Kids Are All Right, a dramedy about a lesbian couple, their children and their sperm donor that was based in part on writer Lisa Cholodenko's real life. So, just to be sure, they originally released Kids in only 7 theaters. They were pleasantly when that run yielded $491,971, an average of $70,282-per-theater.

So, sensing their film had legs, they expanded its reach to 38 theaters, and then, with that proving to be a success, they sent the film to 847 theaters exactly three years ago, on July 30, 2010. By the end of its worldwide run, The Kids Are All Right, which cost $4 million to make, grossed $34,705,850 and garnered an overwhelming amount of critical acclaim, including a slew of Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for stars Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo, and for writers Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg.

But of course The Kids Are All Right also drew conservative protest, specifically from the Westboro Baptist Church, which protested the film outside the Golden Globes. "That made me very sad," Benning said after accepting her Golden Globe best actress statue that night. "I think [the protest] gives us all the more reason to go to the Golden Globes, and for the HFPA to see beyond that, (not) caught up behind the narrow mindedness."

Clearly it wasn't only the Hollywood Foreign Press that saw beyond narrow mindedness: the film showed a receptive American public that, yes, kids are alright in all sorts of family situations, even ones headed by two ladies. Oh, and it also taught us a little more about lesbian sex, as you'll see here.

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