Here's How Our Favorite Iconic LGBTQ+ Movies Did At the Box Office
Some of our faves were box office hits – but others weren’t!
Recent years have brought on a huge discourse surrounding how LGBTQ-centric movies do at the box office. Some of them had a critical appeal but failed to make a lot of money in theaters. Others were huge hits at the box office, even if critics didn't necessarily agree. There are also the rare exceptions of queer movies that did well both critically and commercially, as well as films that sort of fell flat on both of those fronts.
One way or another, it's a fun exercise to look back and see how films with leading LGBTQ+ characters did at the box office.
Scroll through to find out how some of our favorite LGBTQ+ movies did at the box office.
2013's Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a French-speaking film. As we've come to learn over the years, a lot of viewers are alienated by movies that aren't in English. Overall, though, the film grossed $19 million around the world (via BoxOfficeMojo).
The 2018 biopic about Queen's Freddie Mercury was a huge commercial and critical hit. According to BoxOfficeMojo, Bohemian Rhapsody grossed a whopping $910 million at the box office.
Booksmart was a critical darling when it came out in 2019. However, it didn't do as well commercially. The comedy only grossed $24 million at the box office globally (via BoxOfficeMojo).
Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain was beloved by critics and LGBTQ+ audiences back in 2005 - a time when queer people were rarely the leading characters in a mainstream movie. At the box office, this gay western love story grossed $178 million around the world according to BoxOfficeMojo.
There was an enormous marketing push for Bros that billed it as the "first LGBTQ+ rom-com from a major studio with a theatrical release." Unfortunately, a lot of audiences didn't show up for Bros when it came out, resulting in its $14 million gross at the box office (via BoxOfficeMojo).
But I'm a Cheerleader
There's no denying that But I'm a Cheerleader is an LGBTQ+ classic. According to BoxOfficeMojo, however, the film didn't really make a lot of money. In total, But I'm a Cheerleader only grossed $2.5 million around the world.
Call Me By Your Name
The critically-acclaimed Call Me By Your Name grossed $43 million according to BoxOfficeMojo. Even though this number doesn't make the film a mega-hit, there's no denying that Call Me By Your Name had a massive impact in pop culture and was considered a big success in 2017.
2015's Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara was another critically-acclaimed film that had a massive cultural impact despite not having the most impressive box office gross. As detailed by BoxOfficeMojo, Carol made $40 million around the world.
The Kids Are All Right
The Kids Are All Right had a global gross of $34 million at the box office (via BoxOfficeMojo). When the film was released in 2010, it was considered a pretty significant triumph for LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media.
The coming-of-age film Love, Simon did resonate with a lot of young LGBTQ+ viewers in 2018. BoxOfficeMojo reports that the movie grossed a total of $66 million worldwide, but there's no denying that this was considered a success. So much so that Disney+ launched the spinoff series Love, Victor in subsequent years.
2008's Milk is one of the most important movies in the history of LGBTQ+ cinema. Commercially speaking, the film grossed $54 million (via BoxOfficeMojo). As far as its critical reception, the public and the press had nothing but rave reviews for the movie at the time.
After a few nominations for LGBTQ-centric movies in the biggest Oscars category that there is, 2016's Moonlight actually managed to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. At the box office, Moonlight grossed $65 million (via BoxOfficeMojo). Given how racist and homophobic certain audiences can be, this number is considered a pretty big success for a coming-of-age film about a man who is both Black and gay.
Elton John's biopic, Rocketman, grossed $195 million around the world according to BoxOfficeMojo. Overall, the film was praised by critics and got quite a big spotlight at the Oscars.
For a Disney animated movie, grossing $62 million (via BoxOfficeMojo) makes Strange World somewhat of a commercial disappointment. However, one must take into consideration the very aggressive conservative pushback that surrounded this film due to the fact that it featured a gay leading character.
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
The drag classic To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar grossed $47 million at the box office (via BoxOfficeMojo). With that said, considering the huge cultural impact that this 1995 movie still has, there's no denying that the LGBTQ+ community is very thankful for the existence of To Wong Foo.