box office takes

Did Bruno Make More Money Than a Certain Cowboy Love Story?


Nope! Brokeback Mountain grossed more money than any other gay-oriented film in all the 2000s, beating even Bruno and that terrible Rent.

While we’re personally attached to A Home at the End of the World, it was only the 30th best box office earner of the decade, according to IndieWire, which rounded up the gross receipts of queer fare. Here are the Top 15; visit IndieWire for the rest.

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. Far From Heaven, 2002 $15,901,849
10. The Next Best Thing, 2000 $14,990,582
11. Y Tu Mama Tambien, 2002 $13,839,658
12. Kinsey, 2004 $10,254,979
13. Transamerica, 2005 $9,015,303
14. The Deep End, 2001 $8,823,109
15. Mulholland Drive, 2001 $7,220,243

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  • dutz

    Mulholland Drive is excellent.

  • Jack

    Way to sweep the typos under the rug, Queerty…

  • FakeName

    I don’t know what you mean, Jack. The headline reads “Did Bruno make….” The headline has always read “Did Bruno make….”

  • sebastien

    To compare those 2 movies is stupid….

  • schlukitz

    Brokeback Mountain was one of the finest gay movies I have ever watched. And I’ve watched a lot of them in my long lifetime. ;)

  • Matt

    The Hours, Monster, Rent, Frida, Far From Heaven, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Kinsey, The Deep End, and Mulholland Drive are not gay-oriented films.

  • FakeName

    Monster is about a lesbian serial killer and her relationship with her lover. Far From Heaven is about a woman who discovers her husband’s homosexuality. Kinsey is about a bisexual sex researcher who shook the country with his reports on the frequency of homosexual behaviour among both men and women. The Deep End is about a mother struggling both to come to terms with her son’s homosexuality and protect him from an abusive sexual partner. Don’t know enough about the rest of them to say but these all strike me as being LGBT oriented.

  • Cam

    Yeah, Brokeback Mountain’s worldwide gross was higher than the movie “Scream”. And yet what happened after those two movies were released? We get tons and tons of copies of the movie “Scream” out there, Horro movies, Horros Spoofs etc… and yet NOTHING in the way of another wide release gay film.

    Hollywood is so wedded to their own homophobia that even though Brokeback Mountain made more money than tons of of ther much copied movies not one studio has put out a major wide release gay movie since. It’s beyond ridiculous.

  • Joseph

    I don’t know what movies you saw, Matt, but, um, yeah, The Hours, Monster, Rent, Frida, Far From Heaven, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Kinsey, The Deep End and Mulholland Dr. are all gay-themed films.

    Technically, however, the highest-grossing “gay themed” film of the 00’s would be I Know Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), which grossed $120 million.

  • Chicagojimmy

    Gotta agree that many listed are not gay themed movies. Just having a gay character or touching on homosexuality does not make a movie gay themed. Frida, for example, is clearly not gay themed, perhaps gay friendly would be better. I can’t imagine anything about “chuck and larry” that was gay friendly.

  • NoDoubleStandards

    What does gay-themed movie mean? Do you mean white gay upper class males re-doing the same stories over and over again about the “gay experience” as they have come to ritualize it? Because if so, you are right. There is no such thing as one way to do a movie about being gay. If you think there is- if you are so limited by this straight jacket (no pun intended) then our stories will remain in the ghetto. My definition of a gay movie is one with gays in it. The rest of you placing limitations on the story telling. That’s very bad.

  • NoDoubleStandards

    Suppose one does a story where the character is gay, but none of the plot really revolves around that. I just got through seeing the movie Fracture on TV. Is that movie about being “heterosexual”? Or is the heterosexuality just there in the background while the real story is told? Now, forgetting for a moment whether we like the particular movie (it was okay as a movie at home), the real issue is that no one feels the need to say “this is a heterosexual theme movie.” It is understood to be heterosexual because of relationships involved rather than the key plot of the story. Does that mean it is any less a story about heterosexual characters? What if it were a movie with gay lead following after the killer? This concept is alien to all of us. And that in a nutshell is what has to change to see more interesting things out of Hollywood- not just straight people have to change, but we as gay people too.

  • Krakenbwool

    I agree with NoDoubleStandards. I’d like to see a movie where there’s a gay lead character, but the plot doesn’t revolve around homosexuality. I find that TV does this a lot better. Omar Little from HBO’s “The Wire” is a prime example of this–he’s openly gay, but also a smart, tough stickup man and arguably the most popular character on the show. Also, HBO’s criminally underrated prison show “OZ” had two inmates in a relationship, whose problems had nothing to do with homosexuality. It’s not exactly shying away from homosexuality–more that it shows that there’s more to gays than just being gay. I think that if more “casually” gay characters are included whose sexual orientation plays second tier to a larger purpose, the mainstream media would be a lot more accepting.

    And it’d be a lot more interesting than seeing the same tragic gay love/coming out story rehashed by “enlightened” liberal producers over and over again.

  • danfoss


    yeah, that was basically mulholland drive, where the plot wasnt about beign gay, yet had lesbian sure there are other filsm liek that

  • Benjamin

    I have to be the only gay guy on the planet who thought Brokeback Mountain was boring. I tried to like it, I really did, but it just felt like heavy handed melodrama to me, gay or not. But my mom really liked it, and it helped her relate to me in some weird way, so that’s a nice bonus. But for me it was a bit of a snore festival. When I watched it I got the impression that it wasn’t really for gay people, but for straight people interested in learning about gay people or being shocked by gay sex. I feel like for them it was either a Merchant Ivory film, or a horror film, depending on their attitude. All the shocking little twists and turns are probably astounding for people that don’t have that much experience with these matters. Two guys in a tent getting it on? It happens. No shock there. Gay guy goes cruising and gets beaten to death? Happens all the time. Tough to see, but we are all aware that these things go on. But to a straight person who has never had any exposure to that, I’m sure it was a roller coaster ride of dramatic tension. But that’s just me. I’m sure I missed something. Glad it’s out there though. People really seem to enjoy it. Just my opinion.

  • schlukitz

    No. 8 · Cam

    Hollywood is so wedded to their own homophobia that even though Brokeback Mountain made more money than tons of of ther much copied movies not one studio has put out a major wide release gay movie since. It’s beyond ridiculous.

    Yeah. It’s kind of like cutting their noses off, to spite their own faces.

    I fully agree with you. It is beyond ridiculous.

  • Krakenbwool

    @ Schlukitz

    I think it was the novelty of Brokeback Mountain that made it so financially successful. They tried the same thing again with “Milk” last year, and while the film was still extremely critically-acclaimed, it wasn’t able to draw the same amount of audience.

  • schlukitz

    No. 15 · Benjamin

    Thank you for sharing your honest opinion on Brokeback Mountain.

    As for myself, I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I can appreciate the fact that everyone who saw this film, will have a different reaction to it.

    I was just curious as to what you thought about the movie Making Love, if you saw it, which was a ground-breaking film produced in 1985?

  • Benjamin

    No. 18 · schlukitz

    I’ve not seen it, but I added it to Netflix. It sounds wonderful. So many movie’s I’ve not seen. Thanks for the tip.

  • schlukitz

    No. 19 · Benjamin

    You’re welcome. I think you’ll like this one.

    Kate jackson was smashing in her role as the “ditched wife” and, as an added bonus, Michael Ontkean and Harry Hamlin are sooooo easy on the eye. ;P

  • schlukitz

    No. 17 · Krakenbwool

    That’s an interesting point…and a valid one.

    I also think the fact that Milk was really more of a political documentary, rather than a love story like Brokeback Mountain, may have had a lot to do with why it did not get the same acclaim.

  • Benjamin

    No. 18 · schlukitz

    Yummy. That’s moved up the list.

  • scott ny'er

    @ No. 15 · Benjamin

    Naw. I thought it was boring in parts too. It plodded along. But that’s typical of most Ang Lee movies. I also thought the make-up was TERRIBLE!!! They looked like dudes trying to look like old men.

    Were there parts that touched me, yes. But it was also boring at times too.

  • terrwill

    I was kinda neglegint in my Gay duties and only recently saw Brokeback and you know what? I thought it sucked! Was far from uplifting, had a sad ending with both of them having crappy lives. Sorry not exactaly the portrayal of the Gays I would have liked to see in a mainstream movie. Only reinforced the negative stereotypes about the Gays that ours is a miserable existance……..

  • Peter

    Terrwill…..Yes BrokeBack Mtn. showed a miserable gay existance; but that can be the reality of living in parts of Wyoming or Texas. I lived in Wyoming for 15 years. Part of those years in the Lander/Meeteetse area where this film was to have occurred. I was there in the 60’s. To me, it was a love story of untold depth, and the shirt inside another (as they changed position) had a profound impression on me. The reality of their lives was amazing.

  • schlukitz

    Terrwill, my thoughts are very much the same as Peter’s. Brokeback Mountain was not meant to be a “feel-good” movie where everyone lives happily ever after. Will and Grace can do that for us.

    As we all well know, life is not like that and, as in all relationships, people get hurt. It’s inevitable.

    I think that the central message of the movie, and a sad one indeed, is the denial of one’s feelings for the other, which was indeed, graphically illustrated to us in the shirt position change scene at the end of the movie.

    What could have been, if only being true to one’s self, is the message that hits us like a ton of bricks and for which we weep.

  • hardmannyc

    “Suppose one does a story where the character is gay, but none of the plot really revolves around that.”

    Woodstock, for starters. There have been several where the main character’s sexual identity was treated as incidental. In Bruges is another good example.

  • romeo

    “Brokeback Mountain” was a beautifully conceived film done with meticulous attention to period detail. A true classic. But beyond the gay theme, the first 40 minutes or so is one of the greatest and most realistic depictions of hard physical labor ever put on the screen.

    It was a great achievement, for us and for film.

  • romeo

    Also, the young cast threw themselves into it and all did a terrific job, but what Heath Ledger, an Australian, did in transforming himself into that conflicted American cowboy was nothing short of grandeur. His talent is sorely missed.

  • terrwill

    No. 26 · schlukitz & No. 28 · romeo: I agree the film was well made, the actors def put a lot into it. I just had the expectations that I wouldn’t want to finish out the night with a bottle of booze and be depressed when the ending credits ran!
    I wanted them to be sitting at the cabin old and Gay…. :-}

  • romeo

    @Terrwill #30: LOL That’s what we’re all hoping for!

    But what was on the screen was the reality of those days. I’ve talked to many men “of a certain age” about the film, and they all agree. It was incredibly accurate.

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