Queen guitarist Brian May has rejected media speculation over the amount of money the band made from Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, saying they hadn’t yet “earned a penny.”

The quadruple-Oscar winning movie is said to have taken over $900 million worldwide at the box office, with the U.K.’s annual Sunday Times Rich List reporting that May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon all increased their personal fortunes by over £20 million as a result.

However, in a new interview with the BBC, May said: “It was a long labor of love — about 12 years in development, I guess. We thought it would do well in the end and we felt good about it, but we didn't realize it would do that well. It's incredible around the world – it's like a billion-dollar movie.”

You can listen to the interview below:

He continued: “I had to laugh the other day, because there's a thing in the paper saying that we were getting rich off this movie. If they only knew. We had an accountant in the other day, and we still haven't earned a penny from it. How successful does a movie have to be before you make money? There's so many people that people don't realize will take pieces off the top.”

Despite that, he said it was a “great” feeling to have Bohemian Rhapsody “out there.” “I think Freddie comes out it with his dignity, but without having been whitewashed in any way,” he added. “It's very real... I think people are astounded how close to Freddie Rami [Malek] got. It's phenomenal the way he got inside Freddie's body somehow – inside his skin.”

 

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