‘Bohemian Rhapsody”s Huge Impact on Queen Music Sales Revealed
The blockbuster biopic Bohemian Rhapsody continues to fuel Queen’s modern-day renaissance. In addition to earning more than $900 million at the global box office, while also scoring four Academy Awards, the movie significantly increased consumption of the band’s music.
Billboard reports that on-demand streams of Queen’s catalog more than tripled in the six month’s following the film’s debut, going from 588 million to 1.9 billion. The impressive numbers don’t stop there: “Sales were even stronger, with tracks jumping from 527,000 to 1.9 million units and albums rising 483 percent, from 184,000 to 1.1 million units.” According to Billboard’s estimates, these sales resulted in “nearly $18 million in revenue versus the $4.4 million that Queen’s catalog had earned in the preceding six months.”
Bohemian Rhapsody’s positive influence on Queen’s streams point to a broader trend across the entertainment industry. As music biopics and documentaries have become more popular, the movies have spurred greater interest in their subject matters' music. Motely Crue saw a significant spike in streaming and sales following the release of their Netflix biopic, The Dirt; Amy Winehouse and the rap group N.W.A saw similar responses when films about their lives were released.
What all this means for the artists themselves is difficult to quantify. Though the dollar amounts are impressive, record labels, production companies and management teams all take a piece of the pie. Guitarist Brian May alluded as such in a recent interview, when he confessed that Queen “haven’t earned a penny” off Bohemian Rhapsody.
Still, the movie and music industries are both banking heavily on this synergy lasting. The next marquee biopic is Elton John’s Rocketman (out May 31), with films about or inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and the Beatles all readying for release this year.