Senior executives at movie corporation Fox would have been delighted if the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody had done half its business at the box office, one of them said.

Domestic distribution president Chris Aronson hailed producer Graham King for having spent nearly a decade steering the project to unexpected success. While the most recent confirmed worldwide gross is $798 million, experts said the total will pass $800 million this week. That’s nearly four times the amount taken by the previous highest-grossing music biopic, Straight Outta Compton, which made $201 million in 2015. Bohemian Rhapsody is now Fox’s fifth best-selling movie overseas.

“When we went into production, we would have been doing cartwheels had anyone said we could even do $400 million," Aronson told the Hollywood Reporter. “What Graham has achieved is nothing short of a miracle, between keeping the project alive for 10 years, keeping the band in the fold, firing the director and getting through post without a director.”

Even though the movie had a modest production budget of $51 million and various struggles throughout its development, Bohemian Rhapsody is predicted to make at least $830 million before its run ends, boosted by the sing-along version that recently opened in theaters. Two Golden Globes wins and five Oscar nominations have helped keep attention on the movie.

Earlier this week, King passed the credit onto star Rami Malek, after explaining the challenges of firing Bryan Singer with just a little more than two weeks of shooting to go. “My job is to protect the film at any cost and that’s what I was there to do,” he said. “We were such a family by then. Rami was driving that train every morning. … We just all did what we had to do to get the movie finished.”

 

 

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