Brian May Says Queen Has Not Made Any Money From "Bohemian Rhapsody" Biopic

May 13, 2019

The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody set a new standard for all future films based around musicians. Winning four Academy awards, including "Best Actor" going to Rami Malek for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, the film has reportedly grossed over $900 million worldwide. Although that is a huge payday for the film, guitarist Brian May revealed in an interview with BBC Radio 2 host Zoe Ball, that the band has not received a cent. 

"It was a long labor of love - about 12 years in development, I guess. We thought it would do well in the end and we felt good about it, but we didn't realize it would do that well,” saus May. “It's incredible around the world. It's, like, a billion-dollar movie. I had to laugh the other day, because there's a thing in the paper saying that we were getting rich off this movie. If they only knew.”

The guitarist adds, “We had an accountant in the other day, and we still haven't earned a penny from it. Isn't that funny? How successful does a movie have to be before you make money? There's so many people that people don't realize will take pieces off the top, but the feeling of it is so great — the fact that it's out there, and I think Freddie [Mercury] comes out it with his dignity, but without having been whitewashed in any way.”

Although the band has not received any compensation from the film directly, Bohemian Rhapsody resulted in Queen album sales flying through the roof, sending the band back on the charts and on streaming services. "Bohemian Rhapsody" has since become the highest-streamed classic rock song ever.