The Kids Are All Right box office: Despite the presence of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, lesbian family movie’s major domestic expansion likely to be its last one
Way down the domestic box office chart, however, one could find another noteworthy title: At no. 12, cowriter-director Lisa Cholodenko’s lesbian family comedy-drama The Kids Are All Right – a likely Academy Award contender in several categories – grossed $3.5 million as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com. Cume after four weekends: $9.6 million.
That’s not bad at all for a $4 million production. Having said that, keep in mind that the official budget doesn’t include distributor Focus Features’ marketing and distribution expenses, which, considering The Kids Are All Right’s big-name cast – Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo – has likely been steeper than usual for such a “small” movie.
Now for the bad news: Following its expansion from 201 to 847 locations, The Kids Are All Right – which boasts the year’s highest per-theater average ($70,281 at seven locations on its July 9–11 debut weekend) – experienced a dramatic per-theater drop, plummeting from $12,909 to $4,162.
Not about to become the ‘lesbian Brokeback Mountain‘
For comparison’s sake: When Focus Features’ Ang Lee-directed Brokeback Mountain – starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as cowboyish lovers – expanded from 683 to 1,196 theaters on weekend no. 7 (in mid-January 2006), its per-theater average remained a solid $6,548 (down from $8,499 the previous Martin Luther King holiday-boosted weekend). By then, the romantic Western had already amassed an estimated $42.1 million.
As it stands, The Kids Are All Right may still have room for some further expansion, but a more modest one and not for very long. In fact, there’s no chance that the lesbian-focused movie will get even close to matching the success of Brokeback Mountain – Focus’ top commercial hit to date – which raked in $83.4 million domestically, in addition to $95 million internationally.
Besides Oscar nominees Annette Bening (Being Julia, 2004; etc.) and Julianne Moore (Far from Heaven, 2002; etc.) as lovers/mothers, The Kids Are All Right features Mark Ruffalo as the slob who happens to be the biological father of the lesbian couple’s children, played by Josh Hutcherson and Alice in Wonderland star Mia Wasikowska.
Four Academy Award nominations
Update: Nominated for four Oscars – Best Picture, Actress (Annette Bening), Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), and Original Screenplay – The Kids Are All Right ultimately collected a no-more-than-acceptable $20.8 million domestically and $13.9 million (likely incomplete) internationally. Worldwide total: Likely a profitable $34.7 million, depending on how much was spent on the movie’s marketing and distribution.
Its top international territories were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($2.6 million), Italy ($1.9 million), Australia ($1.5 million), Spain ($1.3 million), and Germany ($1.3 million). France’s figure ($298,000) is likely incomplete.
For comparison’s sake: Budgeted at $14 million, Brokeback Mountain reached $178.1 million (not adjusted for inflation) at the global box office.
“The Kids Are All Right Box Office: Lesbian Comedy” endnotes
Also this past weekend, Jay Roach’s lowbrow comedy Dinner for Schmucks, starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, performed below expectations, while the Zac Efron weepy Charlie St. Cloud turned out to be Universal’s latest flop.
Unless otherwise noted, “The Kids Are All Right Box Office: No Brokeback Mountain Heights” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about The Kids Are All Right, Brokeback Mountain, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore The Kids Are All Right movie image: Focus Features.
“The Kids Are All Right Box Office: No Brokeback Mountain Heights” last updated in September 2023.