Bohemian Rhapsody is the most successful music biopic in history. It has grossed over $900 million globally, so it is safe to assume that the band who the movie is about is currently jumping into a swimming pool full of cash like Scrooge McDuck and doing the backstroke. However, that isn't the case, according to guitarist Brian May who revealed the band has not made a "penny" off of the hugely successful movie.
Brian May is more than familiar with the recent report stating he and the rest of his Queen bandmates are worth more money than the Queen of England after the huge success of Bohemian Rhapsody. With that being said, it doesn't look like the initial report was very accurate. May was recently interviewed and asked about his fortunes from having the most successful music biopic in history. He had this to say.
"It's incredible, it's like a billion dollar movie. I had to laugh actually the other day. Because there's this thing in the paper saying that we were getting rich off this movie. If they only knew. We were accounting the other day, and we still haven't earned a penny. How successful does a movie need to be before you make money?"
Brian May and the rest of his Queen bandmates really don't have to worry too much about money. Contrary to popular belief, the band all wrote and contributed to the song writing process, leading to spread out royalty payments on some of the biggest songs in rock and roll history. The song "Bohemian Rhapsody" may have been written by Freddie Mercury, but "Another One Bites the Dust" and "You're My Best Friend" were written by bassist John Deacon and the rest of the band wrote hits too.
However, some money from Bohemian Rhapsody will be coming to the band, but it probably won't be as much as we're all thinking. There's a lot of people to pay when a huge movie is produced and the source material may be last in line. Though, the band has more than likely already started seeing royalties off of the movie's soundtrack, which features many of their biggest hits, so Brian May might have left that part of the equation out since music royalties don't really mean as much as they did when Queen were in their heyday.
Brian May recently inducted Def Leppard into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which was recently broadcasted on HBO. He has a deep bond with the band and especially singer Joe Elliott, who was the first person to call the guitarist after Freddie Mercury passed away from AIDS complications. Queen still performs with singer Adam Lambert, but bassist John Deacon has not performed with the band since 1997 and has since retired from the music business. You can check out the rest of the interview with Brian May and his thoughts on the Bohemian Rhapsody money below, thanks to the Brian May Com YouTube channel.