If only Freddie Mercury were here to soak up all the love he's been getting around the world. He'd definitely say domo arigato to the Japanese fans who've pushed Bohemian Rhapsody past $100 million just in that country alone.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, fans in Japan have so taken to Bohemian Rhapsody that the film has become something of a phenomenon. It has inspired repeat viewing, with fans dressing up in Queen cosplay and holding sing-along screenings.
Bohemian Rhapsody had a modest start in Japan with a $4.6 million opening weekend, but it became a word-of-mouth hit. THR said last week was the 13th week that Bohemian Rhapsody was in the top five of Japan's box office chart since it opened on November 9.
Japanese fans have been buying Queen CDs and pushing the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack to the top of the album charts. In December, Queen became the first non-Japanese act to have music take first and second place on the album charts.
Japan's gross of $100 million is much more than any other market, except the domestic U.S./Canada box office, where Bohemian Rhapsody has made $208.5 million. That just edged it past A Star Is Born at the domestic box office; Bohemian was already waaaaayy ahead of that film overseas. So far, Bohemian has picked up a staggering $624.6 million at the foreign box office, according to Box Office Mojo. (Compare that to $209.5M for A Star Is Born.) The current worldwide total for the Queen movie is $833,201,451. And that's off a reported production budget of $52 million!
It's pretty cool to see how Queen's music can still rock the world almost 50 years after the band formed in 1970.
Bohemian Rhapsody is truly The Little Engine That Could. The film was already an underdog during production, when director Bryan Singer was fired toward the end of filming. That wasn't even reportedly connected to the allegations of sexual misconduct against him; that came up later, and star Rami Malek recently addressed the reports.
During production, Dexter Fletcher stepped in to finish the film, but Bryan Singer retained credit. Critics weren't terribly kind to the film, but audiences just kept loving it and loving it. Not only was the film a hit at the box office, it was the surprise winner of Best Drama at the Golden Globes, and it's currently nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Rami Malek also looks like a frontrunner to win the Best Actor Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury.
What would Freddie Mercury have thought about all of this? Tragically, the British singer died in 1991 at age 45. Queen's Brian May said he thought Freddie would've felt the film "was a fair cop" for showing both his strengths and his weaknesses. The great showman would've surely loved all the attention and love he's gotten around the world, particularly -- it seems -- in Japan.
Bohemian Rhapsody has succeeded against all odds, and still has some potential winning to do at the 2019 Oscars. See if that happens when the 91st Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 24, 2019 on ABC. Check out what else is playing in theaters in our handy 2019 movie guide.