Scroll To Top

Brokeback Mountain has phenomenal opening

Brokeback Mountain has phenomenal opening


Open in just three cities so far, Ang Lee's cowboy love story broke box office records and took home critics' awards over the weekend.

The long-awaited film version of writer Annie Proulx's cowboy love story, Brokeback Mountain, opened December 9 to long lines of moviegoers in three cities. By the end of the weekend it had broken box-office records and carried home some of the first major prizes of the year-end season.

Open only in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles--five theaters total--the Focus Features film raked in more than half a million dollars, for an average of $109,000 per location, the highest per-screen average for any movie released in 2005. That was more money in three days than the grand total grossed by such gay-inclusive 2005 films as Cote d'Azur, The Dying Gaul, and Gus Van Sant's Last Days. Van Sant was one of the directors who tried to get Brokeback made in the late 1990s and early 2000s, without success.

"This is an astonishing accomplishment and a real testament to how this film is connecting with audiences," said Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "Brokeback Mountain is truly a remarkable event, and its journey and impact are just beginning."

Directed by Ang Lee (The Wedding Banquet, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as cowboys who meet on the titular mountain in 1963, where they spend a summer together herding sheep and discovering a mutual attraction they can't resist. The film covers the subsequent 20 years of their lives as they continue their secret affair through marriages, long distance, and fear of societal condemnation.

The critical reception to the movie has been glowing since its debut in September at the Toronto Film Festival, where it won the top prize, and on Saturday the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named it the best film of the year. The group also gave Lee the Best Director prize. Gyllenhaal and Ledger did not win acting honors from the Los Angeles critics; that went to another actor in a gay role, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in the film Capote. (

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff