BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY arrived with a bang and rocked audiences around the globe, and now it’s truly the champion of the world – as far a biopics are concerned. The movie opened to over $50 million last month and hasn’t slowed down for a beat during its healthy run, and in the process has become far and away the highest-grossing music biopic of all time.
Since the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic opened at the top of the box office, the domestic total for the movie has risen to a current total of $180 million and counting, surpassing the domestic total of previous biopic champ, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON ($160 million). But what’s most shocking about the box office frame of RHAPSODY is not the impressive domestic haul, but the international one, with the movie making over $450 million overseas. That tops the international frame of Fox’s other smash hit, DEADPOOL 2 ($415 million), becoming the studio’s biggest hit overseas this year.
What makes the success of RHAPSODY so incredible is all the stuff that would normally be working against the movie. First of all, reviews for the movie have been mixed – despite major nominations at the Golden Globes and SAG – having a 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. As well, the directing credit of Bryan Singer was expected to hurt the film to some degree, especially after he was fired from the project one year ago before filming ended (Dexter Fletcher was brought in to finish). Finally, international box office often relies heavily on China, and RHAPSODY currently has no release date planned for the Middle Kingdom, meaning this movie has made all this money without the help of the second-largest movie market in the world.
If the good times weren’t already rolling, Universal Music Group also announced last week that Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” has become the most-streamed song of the 20th century with 1.5 billion streams. That’s A LOT of headbanging in cars going on.
Like many people around the world, I saw the movie on the big screen and though I didn’t love the movie as much as some there’s no denying it’s connected with people around the world. Queen’s music is as popular as ever, and this global total goes to show you how many people around the world love the band and were excited to see the stories of Queen and Mercury on the big screen. Come next month it will compete for some big awards, like Rami Malek getting nominations at both the Globes and SAG, so the hits may just keep coming for this rock n’ roll hit.