‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Needs to Make a Ton of Money to Be Among the Highest Grossing Music Movies of All Time

After a long and winding path to the big screen, the Queen biopic movie Bohemian Rhapsody is finally on its way to theaters. The film, which stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, opens Nov. 2, 2018, and it’s one of the 2018 movies people are most excited about. It’s been nearly a decade from conception to release, but it’s going to take a lot of box office success for Bohemian Rhapsody to be among the highest grossing music movies of all time.

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Male stars as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

The highest grossing music movies of all time

There are more music movies out there than you realize, but what we’re discussing are music biopic movies. Biopics, such as The Doors or Selena have music in them, but not to the level of musicals such as Beauty and the Beast or Grease. These are the highest grossing music movies of all time, not including Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band or Staying Alive, which are two of the worst music movies ever made.

10. What’s Love Got to Do With It

Box office total: $39.1 million

The movie about Tina Turner hit theaters in 1993 and surpassed $39 million at the box office.

9. All Eyez on Me

Box office total: $44.9 million

This film from 2017 chronicles the life of rapper and actor Tupac Shakur.

8. Jersey Boys

Box office total: $47 million

Christopher Walken is part of the ensemble cast in this biographic movie about The Four Seasons.

7. Amadeus

Box office total: $51.9 million

Classical music fans made this Mozart film one of the highest grossing music movies of all time.

6. La Bamba

Box office total: $54.2 million

Lou Diamond Phillips stars as Ritchie Valens in *La Bamba*, which surpassed $54 million at the box office.

5. Coal Miner’s Daughter

Box office total: $67.1 million

The movie about Loretta Lynn’s life from 1980 is the oldest on our list, but it remains one of the highest grossing music movies ever.

4. Ray

Box office total: $75.3 million

Ray is one of the greatest movies about musicians. It topped $75 million in box office earnings, and Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles.

3. I Can Only Imagine

Box office total: $83.4 million

This movie about the Christian band MercyMe topped $83 million after its early 2018 release.

2. Walk the Line

Reese Witherspoon, Jamie Foxx, Oscars, Academy Awards, highest grossing music movies

Reese Witherspoon and Jamie Foxx both won Oscars and starred in two of the highest grossing music movies. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Box office total: $119.5 million

Reese Witherspoon won the best actress Oscar for playing June Carter opposite Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash.

1. Straight Outta Compton

Box office total: $161.1 million

The 2015 movie detailing rap group N.W.A.’s rise is the music movie with the biggest box office haul. It collected more than $60 million on opening weekend and surpassed $161 million total.

All the box office figures above are courtesy of Box Office Mojo.

The troubled production of Bohemian Rhapsody

The journey from concept to finished product for Bohemian Rhapsody has been anything but smooth.

Fans started hearing about the potential for the movie in 2010, but it was the 2012 book Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury that ended up being a key source.

Sacha Baron Cohen was slated to star as Mercury, but he left the project. Bryan Singer gets a directing credit even though he was fired during production.

Plus, fans already have a big problem with the way the movie handles some the details of Mercury’s life. Some important aspects that helped shape the man are glossed over or totally ignored.

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek (second from right) stars as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. | 20th Century Fox

Playing Mercury might be the most high profile acting gig for Rami Malek, but it’s hardly his first.

His first appearance on screen happened in 2004 when he was on Gilmore Girls. Two years later, he starred as Ahkmenrah in Night at the Museum, a role he reprised in the two sequels. Malek starred in TV’s Mr. Robot by 2015, and it’s probably his most notable role. He won a Primetime Emmy Award for acting in 2016 thanks to his role on the show.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!