The leading cinema exhibitor in Malaysia has denied that 24 minutes of "Bohemian Rhapsody" have been cut for the film's Malaysian audience.
The Malaysian Film Censorship Board reportedly removed content from the QUEEN biopic that was largely of a homosexual nature, including the music video for "I Want To Break Free" and the scene where singer Freddie Mercury explains to his fiancée, Mary Austin, that he is bisexual.
However, GSC issued a statement earlier today maintaining that the runtime of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in Malaysia is just three minutes shorter than the U.S. version, despite the web sites of GSC and other cinema chains like TGV stating runtimes of 134 and 135 minutes, respectively.
"The runtime for #BohemianRhapsody in Malaysia is 131 minutes. The runtime in the US is 134 minutes. So it's DEFINITELY NOT 20 MINUTES CUT. So (fill in the blank), get the facts right," GSC said on its Facebook page, signing off with "Love, #GSCAdmin". The cinema chain also clarified that it had no say in censorship, saying: "This is between the studio and the censorship board. Cinemas can't do censorship. We are only playing the content."
In addition to the shorter runtime, the movie has been stamped with an 18 rating, in contrast to the PG-13 rating in the United States and United Kingdom.
"Bohemian Rhapsody", starring "Mr. Robot"'s Rami Malek as Mercury, earned $30 million in its second weekend to get over the $100 mllion U.S. milestone. The film has earned a whopping $185 million overseas thus far on a $55 million budget.
While many reviews have slammed the film for its uninspired storytelling, some people have also taken issue with the movie's depiction of Mercury's sexuality — or rather, its lack thereof. The biopic focuses heavily on the relationship between him and Austin, who discovers midway through the film that he's cheating on her with other men.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" began production with "X-Men" director Bryan Singer behind the camera, but the filmmaker was fired from the movie after he disappeared from set and caused production delays. Dexter Fletcher, best known for making "Eddie the Eagle", stepped in to replace Singer in the director's chair.