"How successful does a movie have to be before you make money?" the Queen member joked in a new interview


Bohemian Rhapsody may have almost passed the $1 billion mark at the world box office, but Queen member Brian May says the band hasn’t made any money off of the hit Oscar-winning musical biopic.

In a recent interview on BBC Radio 2’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, May claimed the band hasn’t “earned a penny” from the film — though they were surprised it became so popular.

PEOPLE has reached out to the film’s production company, GK Films, for comment.

“We thought it would do well in the end, we felt good about it, but we didn’t realize it would do that well,” the 71-year-old guitarist said. “It’s incredible around the world. It’s like a billion-dollar movie.”

“I had to laugh the other day, because there’s a thing in the paper saying that we were getting rich off this movie,” he continued. “If they only knew. We had an accountant in the other day, and we still haven’t earned a penny from it. Isn’t that funny? How successful does a movie have to be before you make money?”

“Because there’s so many people, of course, that will take pieces off the top,” the musician continued.

May also said that, despite allegedly not earning any money yet, the “feeling” of helping create the film was worth it.

“The feeling of it is so great, the fact that it’s out there and I think Freddie [Mercury] comes out of it with his dignity but without having been whitewashed in any way,” May said. “It’s very real, and it makes people cry.”

2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - Show, New York, USA - 29 Mar 2019
Brian May
| Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock
Bohemian RhapsodyRami Malek (Freddie Mercury)Credit: Alex Bailey/Fox
Bohemian Rhapsody
| Credit: Alex Bailey/Fox

The film starring Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton also earned over $200 million in the U.S. box office and $903 million worldwide.

Bohemian Rhapsody resonated with Academy voters, helping the film score four Oscars out of its five nominations, including a Best Actor Oscar for Malek, 38.