Bohemian Rhapsody has been one of the biggest cultural phenomenons of the decade, winning multiple Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards, and grossing over $900 million worldwide. Despite its massive success, Queen guitarist Brian May says the band hasn’t earned a penny from the film.

How can the highest-grossing music biopic of all time leave its muse with no money? Brian May questioned the Bohemian Rhapsody financials in a new interview with BBC Radio 2.

"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,” May says. “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. 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.”

Queen album sales skyrocketed after the release of Bohemian Rhapsody. The film’s soundtrack became Queen’s highest charting album in almost 40 years, while the Greatest Hits and Platinum Collection compilations both reached the Billboard Top 10 simultaneously. “Bohemian Rhapsody” also became the most streamed classic rock song of all time.

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