This crazy little thing called love… for a film. Bohemian Rhapsody has become the highest-grossing music biopic of all-time, largely thanks to Queen’s fans in East Asia.
According to sales figures from IMDB’s Box Office Mojo, the biopic has made more money in South Korea (S$94.65 million) and in Japan (S$86.53 million) than in the band’s home of Great Britain (S$85.18 million).
The Asian sales numbers were only trumped by the US, where the film grossed S$263.66 million as of Jan 10.
In East Asia, the film is proving to be a huge hit with everyone from Tokyo salarymen to K-pop stars who were not even born when Freddie Mercury died, reported South China Morning Post last week.
In Tokyo, multiplexes have allowed moviegoers to dance, stand up, cheer and sing along during viewings of the film.
According to SCMP, a cinema in central Japan is offering film-goers a 200 yen (SS$2.50) discount if they turn up in a Queen T-shirt, 400 yen if they wear a white tank top and 700 yen if they turn up in a full Freddie Mercury outfit.
Pop groups have also responded to the craze by performing covers of the rock band’s hits on televised appearances. K-pop girl group Nature performed a version of Queen’s 1987 smash Don’t Stop Me Now, complete with heavy choreography.
Stars associated with the movie have taken notice of the unexpected cultural obsession, with Malek pictured holding a sign that says “Korean fans, I love you!!”
Queen guitarist Brian May also released a video thanking South Korean fans, even attempting a “kamsahamnida”, or “thank you” in Korean.
Bohemian Rhapsody opened in Singapore on Nov 1 last year with a M18 rating. Starring Rami Malek as frontman Freddie Mercury, the film follows Mercury's life from his joining the band in 1970, to their Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985.