Queen's biopic film, "Bohemian Rhapsody" has exceeded expectations by earning over $75 million in NZD (USD $50m) on their opening weekend. Film experts initially predicted the film would be lucky to "only grab" $35-40 million.
They have earned the number 2 spot all-time for music biopic opening weekends, just behind the 2015 "Straight Outta Compton" which took home over 90m in NZD (USD $60.2m). "A Star is Born", a rival country music film that released within the same week had opened with only $63m in NZD (USD $42m)
Despite all the mixed reviews, "Bohemian Rhapsody" has grossed over NZD $137m in other markets, with a total of almost NZD $213m worldwide. There were also reports that many bad or mixed reviews came from fans of Lady Gaga who were in support of her "A Star is Born" film.
Professional movie critics had trashed the film but praised Rami Malek for his incredible portrayal of singer Freddie Mercury.
A New York Times' critic had written that 2-hour-plus long film is "a baroque blend of gibberish, mysticism and melodrama". He continues, "the film seems engineered to be as unmemorable as possible, with the exception of the prosthetic teeth worn by the lead actor, Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury, Queen’s lead singer. Those choppers may give you nightmares. And some of you who venture into the theatre will surely be inspired to exclaim 'Mama mia, let me go!'"
Screenrant reports, "despite a strong performance by Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody plays out as an excessively sanitised version of Queen's story, rather than a labour of love."
On popular film review site, Rotten Tomatoes had an average rating of 60% for the film to this date. However, 95% of its audience who voted had liked the movie, scoring with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5. Most are asking readers to ignore the "top critics" as fans had suggested that they took the film too seriously.
"I think the reviewers are getting this one wrong. Was it a cinematic masterpiece? No. Did it stretch some truth here and there? Maybe, I really don't know or care," says Peter B. "All I do know is that it was super fun and entertaining and made me love Queen even more. And that performance by the lead actor is jaw-dropping. He truly became Freddie down to every little mannerism or stage move. Truly amazing."
Carl M rates the movie five stars saying, "Brilliant! The likeness of the band is uncanny. The live aid part was absolutely superb and very special bringing tears to the eyes. A life taken from us far too soon."
Overall, the rotten reviews from "top critics" didn't stop fans from watching a biopic film of their heroes. While some of them criticised the film for "suffering from the utterly poor direction of Bryan Singer", many were just happy to see Mercury and Queen's work to be celebrated.