Recognized among Hollywood's powerhouse studios, the Fox Film Corporation was founded by producer William Fox in 1915, subsequently merging with Twentieth Century Pictures (founded in 1933) in 1935 to form 20th Century Fox. Media magnate Rupert Murdoch bought the studio in the mid-1980s, making it a subsidiary of News Corporation. 20th Century Fox is now part of parent company 21st Century Fox. Among Fox’s most famous films are early blockbuster franchises like Star Wars, Alien, and Die Hard.
Aside from Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox has one of the slightest track records when it comes to LGBT-inclusive films, but it includes a few standouts in its repertoire. Myra Breckinridge (1970) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) contain some of the earliest significant transgender characters, though both depictions are arguably more sensationalized than truthful. In 1982, the studio released the drama Making Love, which was one of the first (and only) realistically depicted gay love stories ever made by a major film studio. Other inclusive films released over the years include Silkwood (1983), The Object of My Affection (1998), and The Family Stone (2005).
Widest theatrical release: 3715 theaters
Spy stars Melissa McCarthy as a dowdy CIA analyst tasked with going undercover to infiltrate the operation of a deadly arms dealer to save the world. In one scene, she runs on stage and interrupts a performance by a techno-styled drag queen to warn the crowd of a bomb on premises. Perhaps this character could have been further defined given more screen time, but as is, GLAAD did not count this character in its tally.
Widest theatrical release: 2777 theaters
This raunchy comedy follows a group of failed businessmen who travel to Germany in hopes of making a deal that will save their floundering company. Comedian Nick Frost appears as Bill, the presumed intermediary to the deal who turns out to be an assistant. The three men track him down at a gay bar during the Folsom Europe street fair. Leading man Dan is speaking with two disembodied men on the other side of a wall who are encouraging him to perform sexual favors on them (audiences only see the men’s genitalia) before recognizing Bill’s voice when a third person shows up. Bill, Dan, and his business partners spend the evening partying, and Bill shares that he has turned to anonymous public sex out of insecurity relating to his size and age. While Bill’s story is mostly confined to this one night of partying, he does drive the plot forward by encouraging the men to meet with his boss and close the deal that could save their firm when they are ready to give up. The most that can be said of the film is that it manages to mostly subvert the expected gay panic as Dan simply replies he isn’t interested, rather than expressing disgust at a man blatantly hitting on him.
Widest theatrical release: 2797 theaters
This science fiction drama, based on Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, revisits the classic story through the eyes of Igor, Dr. Frankenstein’s troubled assistant whom he rescued from the circus. In the film, a closeted nobleman, Baron Bomine, hires Igor’s love interest, Lorelai, to act publicly as his consort. Bomine’s screen time is limited to one scene lasting less than a minute, as Lorelai explains to Igor that Bomine “prefers the company of men” before she and Igor begin an affair. Bomine’s appearance was neither good nor bad, but the brevity of the moment remains too common for LGBT inclusion.
Fox Searchlight Pictures, created in 1994, is a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox and specializes in the release and distribution of independent and foreign films in the United States, as well as horror films and dramedies. Fox Searchlight Pictures is responsible for the release of several LGBT-inclusive and Academy Award-winning and nominated films, including Boys Don’t Cry (1999), about the murder of transgender man Brandon Teena, and Kinsey (2004), a biopic of the famed sex researcher.
Widest theatrical release: 149 theaters
Michael Caine stars as retired musical conductor Fred who is on vacation at a luxury resort with his daughter/assistant Lena when her husband leaves her. As Fred tries to console her, Lena spurns his offer with a rant about the ways Fred hurt her mother, including a mention of “experimenting with homosexuality” when he was younger. As Fred never references this in reflections on his own life, but mentions several female love interests, GLAAD did not count this character in its final tally.