Brian May: Queen haven’t earned a penny from Bohemian Rhapsody

Brian May, Rami Malek and Roger Taylor attend the Bohemian Rhapsody world premiere (Image credit: Tolga Akmen/AFP - Getty)

Queen (opens in new tab)’s Brian May says the band have yet to earn any money from Bohemian Rhapsody (opens in new tab) despite its global success.

The film has brought in more than $900 million at the box office, making it one of the biggest movies in recent years, and has scooped a truckload of awards including Oscars (opens in new tab), BAFTAs (opens in new tab), Golden Globes (opens in new tab) and more.

Last week the Sunday Times Rich List reported that May, Roger Taylor and the band’s former bassist John Deacon were all worth £25m more than they were last year (opens in new tab). But was that down to the success of Bohemian Rhapsody?

Not according to May. 

Speaking about the film with Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 (opens in new tab), May said: “It was a long labour of love – about 12 years in development. We thought it would do well in the end and we felt good about it, but we didn't realise it would do that well. 

“It's incredible around the world – it’s 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. 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?"

May adds: "There's so many people that people don't realise will take pieces off the top, but the feeling of it is so great – the fact that it's out there. I think Freddie comes out it with his dignity, but without having been whitewashed in any way. 

“It's very real. It makes people cry. I think people are astounded how close to Freddie Rami Malek got. It's phenomenal the way he got inside Freddie's body somehow – inside his skin.”

May also talks about other subjects, including his solo single New Horizons (opens in new tab), which he launched on January 1 to coincide with NASA's mission to encounter a remote Kuiper Belt Object named Ultima Thule. It was the most distant spacecraft flyby in history.

Bohemian Rhapsody (opens in new tab)

Bohemian Rhapsody (opens in new tab)
The biggest music biopic of all time is now available to purchase, and stars Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello and Lucy Boynton.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.