Despite mixed reviews, director Bryan Singer's Queen/Freddie Mercury movie Bohemian Rhapsody now stands as the highest-grossing music biopic ever. It's not really surprising that a movie about Queen would be a hit, as there are few musical artists that boast a back catalog full of so many enduring songs. Whether it be the titular track, "Another One Bites the Dust," "Somebody to Love," their "Under Pressure" duet with fellow iconic performer David Bowie, or one of many other hits, Queen's music still lives on today, decades after the early death of Mercury.
Of course, while it's a definite success now, Bohemian Rhapsody hasn't been without controversy. Before it was even released, credited director Bryan Singer was fired by Fox in the middle of production, and Dexter Fletcher was brought on to finish the film. Interestingly, Fletcher ended up fully directing Rocketman, an upcoming biopic of another British rock star, Elton John. Then, once it came out, many Queen fans were put off by some of the many alterations to both the band's and Mercury's personal history.
Yet, while many people took issue with things like Mercury being portrayed as gay rather than bisexual, or Mercury's AIDS diagnosis being moved forward by several years to coincide with Live Aid, most moviegoers embraced the film. Bohemian Rhapsody took the #1 spot domestically in its debut weekend, and has now grossed a whopping $539 million worldwide on a budget of only $52 million, according to the latest numbers from Box Office Mojo. This places it in the top spot both domestically and worldwide when it comes to music biopics.
On the domestic chart, Bohemian Rhapsody sits at $164 million, just barely topping previous record holder Straight Outta Compton, a 2015 biopic of the influential rap group N.W.A. When it comes to total worldwide gross though, Bohemian Rhapsody has no competition. Its $539 million total trounces Straight Outta Compton's $201 million worldwide gross, although to be fair, that film cost half as much to make as Singer's. Other famous music biopics like Walk the Line and Ray proved unable to even cross the $200 million mark.
In a fun side effect of Bohemian Rhapsody's box office dominance, Queen's music has also recently shot back up to the high end of the charts. Considering the amount of great Queen songs featured in the film, such a result isn't shocking. Many who loved Queen before the film likely had that love rekindled, and were inspired to buy their music. Conversely, many younger people who only knew of Queen as the guys who made "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" were also likely introduced to a world of material they hadn't heard before. One doubts Freddie would've wanted it any other way.
Source: Box Office Mojo