Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was a breakout big screen sensation, a rousing celebration of the band and its legendary frontman, Freddie Mercury. While the movie cleaned up during awards season (including an Oscar for Best Actor given to Rami Malek for his portrayal of Mercury), it initially arrived to scathing reviews from critics who slammed the film.
For his part, Queen drummer Roger Taylor still holds something of a grudge.
“We’re a funny old country, aren’t we? The trouble with us is, we’re too f---ing popular, and a lot of the media just hate that,” Taylor told Planet Rock in a recent interview.
“There were some decent reviews, but there were many that were kinda sneering and superficial,” Taylor said of the movie's release. “I thought, ‘You just don’t get it, do you? You weren’t moved, and whatever, but f--- you, actually. F--- you all the way to the bank.’ Bad reviews usually mean that it’s going to be really successful. I think people know a lot more than film critics, and the word of mouth via social media is so much more powerful than review from a guy who probably watches 40 movies a week, and has probably lost the essence of the joy of a movie.”
The numbers support Taylor. Bohemian Rhapsody generated more than $900 million at the global box office, making it the most successful biopic in history. The movie's soundtrack was also a hit, peaking at #3 on the US Top 200, making it Queen's highest-charting album in nearly 40 years.