November 6, 2018 at 11:53 am PST | by Karen Ocamb
‘Boy Erased’ tops office opening

Nicole Kidman at ‘Boy Erased’ LA Premiere (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

When British bisexual Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS on Nov. 24, 1991, Republican right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh noted the occasion by playing a snippet of “Another one bites the dust.” It’s been 27 years, but Mercury may be having his cultural revenge. The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody starring Rami Malek as the legendary frontman came out as a box-office champion with a $50 million launch in North America—“the second-biggest start of all time for a music biopic behind 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton” ($60.2 million), even when adjusted for inflation,” reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Perhaps a bigger welcome surprise is the opening weekend for “Boy Erased,” the based-on-real-life story of gay author Garrard Conley’s struggles with so-called “conversion therapy.” 

The story from actor/director Joel Edgerton starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe, topped the releases for limited specialty films. It’s about to go into wider release in 75 theaters and 25 markets. 

“’Boy Erased’ made its mark with audiences this weekend.  It’s a very emotional time in America and audiences seem to be seeing and hearing the urgency in this story, in large part because it’s a true story that actually happened to this young gay man, sadly not that long ago,” Focus Features president of distribution Lisa Bunnell told the Los Angeles Blade. “And we’re seeing really diverse audiences coming out to see this film – male/female, old/young, LGBTQ/straight – it’s not the typical arthouse audience, but we were thrilled to see that core older female audience responding with 95% in the top two boxes and a 85% definite recommend.  It’s a film that we hope families will continue to go see because it shows people that we have to go beyond tolerance and into acceptance.”  – Karen Ocamb

QUOTES

“We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations.” – Statement from 56 major companies against a reported Trump administration plan to eliminate transgender protections under federal law, via Washington Blade.

“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.” – 21st Century Fox-owned news network said after star Sean Hannity appeared with President Trump onstage in Missouri and called the media “fake news.”

“My mum is going to be very proud.”Idris Elba on being named People Magazine’s 2018 Sexist Man Alive, to “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, Nov. 5.

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