The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek, has become the highest grossing queer-themed movie in U.S. history.
At this writing the film has grossed $135,524,253 in the United States.
That’s far ahead of the number two LGBT-centric film, The Birdcage, which starred Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. That 1996 movie has garnered $124,060,553 domestically to date.
Rounding out the Top 5 U.S. queer films are:
3. Interview with the Vampire $105,264,608 (1994)
4. The Imitation Game $91,125,683 (2014)
5. Brokeback Mountain $83,043,761 (2005)
Taking into account global box office receipts, here’s how the Top 5 stack up:
1. Bohemian Rhapsody – $404,524,253
2. The Imitation Game – $233,555,708
3. Interview with the Vampire – $223,664,608
4. The Birdcage – $185,260,553
5. Brokeback Mountain – $178,062,759
Bohemian Rhapsody also ranks number two in terms of musical biopics, coming in behind Straight Outta Compton ($161,197,785 domestically).
Rhapsody could get a significant box office bump should Malek snag an Oscar nomination.
While the film received mixed reviews (currently ranked 62% on Rotten Tomatoes) for various reasons (too gay, not gay enough, not historically accurate, pedestrian storytelling), Malek was roundly praised for his performance as Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury.
Considering the movie was made for approximately $52 million, these numbers have to thrill the creators and Fox (which distributed the film). The musical film debuted with $50 million at the box office, well above expectations, and garnered an “A” at CinemaScore.
Movies have to earn 2-3 times their production costs to recoup after taking into account theaters’ take as well as marketing costs.
But not everyone was thrilled with the biopic.
Recent reports show the LGBT-themed scenes, totaling up to 24 minutes in the film, were excised in Malaysia, which has strict anti-homosexual laws.
Cinematic LGBT characters there can only be included there if they die or somehow show regret for being gay.