For this report, GLAAD focused its analysis on the seven film studios that had the highest theatrical grosses from films released in 2018, as reported by the box office database Box Office Mojo. Those seven are::
- 20th Century Fox
- Paramount Pictures
- Sony Pictures
- Universal Pictures
- The Walt Disney Studios
- Warner Bros.
This report examines films that were distributed theatrically during the 2018 calendar year (January 1 to December 31) in the United States under the official studio banners and imprints as reported by Box Office Mojo, the studios, and other entertainment reporting sources. GLAAD did not include theatrical re-releases and special events such as filmed live events in this count. Films distributed by these studio’s “art house” divisions (such as Fox Searchlight) were analyzed separately and not part of the parent studio’s final tally or grade. The total number of films released by major studios that fell within the research parameters is 110.
GLAAD separately analyzed the films released under four smaller studio imprints that are sometimes referred to as “art house” divisions. This was done to compare the quantity and quality of LGBTQ representations in these studios’ releases directly to parent companies. These specialty films are typically distributed and marketed to a much smaller audience than their major studio counterparts. These distinctions were informed in part by the reporting of Box Office Mojo and other entertainment industry databases. The total number of films that fell within the research parameters is 40. These divisions include:
- Focus Features
- Fox Searchlight
- Roadside Attractions
- Sony Pictures Classics
Each film was researched and reviewed for inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) characters. The total number of LGBTQ characters was recorded for each film, as well as each character’s race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
The films were also reviewed for the presence of general LGBTQ content and anti-LGBTQ language or “humor,” though, because such content must be considered in context, the language was not quantified for this report. Additionally, each film was assigned to one of five genre categories:
- Fantasy/science fiction/action
The family category included animated and children’s films rated PG and under. The category of fantasy/science fiction/action also included horror films and action films not rooted in reality rated PG-13 and above. In the case of films that straddled genre lines, categories were assigned based on the predominant genre suggested by both the film and its marketing campaigns.
We recognize that some of the films counted here as LGBTQ-inclusive will not necessarily be seen as such by everyone and vice versa. GLAAD’s methodology focuses on counting characters as LGBTQ based on what is presented on screen as part of the film or through wide and commonly held cultural knowledge of a real life figure.
Based on the overall quantity, quality, and diversity of LGBTQ representation, a grade was then assigned to each studio: Excellent, Good, Insufficient, Poor, or Failing. Note: Prior to the 2017 report, GLAAD assigned studios scores on a four point scale of Excellent, Good, Adequate, or Failing.