As 21st Century Fox prepares to soon join the Disney Company, the studio can rejoice in a big hurrah: profits this past quarter have seen a 6% increase from the one prior, and it’s all because of Bohemian Rhapsody’s continuing victory lap.
The company earned $8.5 billion in revenue between the October and December months due to higher advertising and affiliate fees and the box office success of the Freddie Mercury biopic, per a Variety report. During the quarter, the operating income of Fox’s film division scaled up 47% to $193 million thanks to a lot of help from one “killer queen."
No other fall Fox release matched the $834.5 million earnings worldwide paired with its recent awards attention. During the quarter, the studio also released the movies Bad Times at the El Royale, The Hate U Give, Widows and a holiday PG-13 re-release of Deadpool 2 (Once Upon a Deadpool) – which collectively made under $150 million at the box office.
Bohemian Rhapsody has blown expectations out of the water, especially for a film that fired its original director, Bryan Singer, just a few weeks before the end of production and was initially criticized when it was first screened. As Singer currently faces sexual misconduct allegations, he is reportedly collecting $40 million for retaining his director credit on the successful film.
Fans of Queen have flocked to the theaters all over the world to witness Rami Malek’s award-winning performance as iconic frontman Freddie Mercury as the cast reenacts the highlights of the band’s incredible career.
The biopic has now not only become the highest-earning music biopic of all time, but has also passed box office milestones overseas as well. Three months after its opening day in theaters, Bohemian Rhapsody is still playing at many locations, following its Golden Globe wins for Best Actor and Picture in the drama category. The movie is now an Oscar Best Picture contender, along with four other nominations, including Rami Malek as the favorite for Best Actor.
Fox’s next release, Alita: Battle Angel, comes next week, though it is not projected to do nearly as well as Bohemian Rhapsody. The James Cameron-produced and Robert Rodriguez-directed sci-fi action flick based on the manga property isn’t expected to top $25 million across its five-day opening during President’s Day weekend, as it competes with The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, What Men Want, Happy Death Day 2U and Isn’t It Romantic.
Fox’s latest success comes as the company will soon be absorbed by Disney in a lofty $71.3 billion deal. The deal is still going through final approval, but is expected to be a done deal in the first half of 2019, though some sources think it will close at the end of February.