Critics may have been mixed on the new Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, but fans have spoken by flocking to theaters over the weekend to see the movie in massive numbers. It appears the movie is a home run for its movie studio, Twentieth Century Fox.
According to a report by Entertainment Weekly, Bohemian Rhapsody will take an estimated $50 million over the weekend, domestically. That number is approximately the same as the film’s budget, making this a highly successful opening weekend for the film. An estimated additional $75 million will also be scored by the film this weekend from international box offices, setting the stage for the worldwide opening of $125 million. Such figures reportedly far exceeded the expectations of the film’s producers.
Audiences are responding with overwhelming positivity to Bohemian Rhapsody, giving it a current audience score on Rotten Tomatoes of 95 percent. That score does not reflect its current critical score of 60 percent. Many critics complained that the movie excludes important facts about the original members of Queen, while fans seem spellbound by the depiction of Freddie Mercury and by the film’s story as a whole.
Other movies this year saw similar disconnections between critics and movie-goers. Hereditary was released earlier in 2018 and garnered near-universal acclaim from movie critics, while the website Cinemascore shows audiences gave the movie a D+.
According to critics, Bohemian Rhapsody largely focuses on Freddie Mercury far more than the other members of Queen, which many found to be unfair. Audiences, on the other hand, seem to be pleased with the film’s direction, considering the movie to be a modern example of Freddie Mercury’s legacy as a singer.
The real life Freddie Mercury was born in 1946 in Stone Town, Sultanate of Zanzibar. He played his first show with Queen in 1971 after an already-lengthy background as a musician. Queen released 14 albums with Freddie Mercury as the frontman and a beloved star. His flamboyant stage personality gave many the idea that Mercury was fun-loving and extroverted. Behind the scenes, however, Freddie Mercury was known to be shy and introverted.
He was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1987.
For years following Mercury’s diagnosis, he denied rumors of testing positive for HIV, going so far as to say he had tested negative. He became increasingly avoidant of the public spotlight and rarely made public appearances. Freddy Mercury was pursued by photographers hoping to get evidence of his deteriorating physical health. On November 23, 1991, Mercury released a statement confirming he was, in fact, HIV-positive.
Freddie Mercury died the next day on November 24, 1991 at the age of 45.