Business

James Bond Is One of the Highest Grossing Film Franchises in History. Here's How the 007s Stack Up

Source: MGM
  • The James Bond franchise has generated more than $6.89 billion globally and starred seven different actors — Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
  • With Craig as the star, the James Bond franchise has seen its best theatrical run in history, garnering nearly $3.2 billion globally between 2006's "Casino Royale" and 2015's "Spectre."
  • 2012's "Skyfall" was the first James Bond film to top $1 billion worldwide.

In 1962, when the first James Bond film "Dr. No" was released in cinemas, a ticket cost just 70 cents.

Nearly 60 years later, the average ticket price is around $9 and the dashing 007 is making his 25th appearance on the big screen.

Based on the works of Ian Fleming, James Bond has been a fixture at the movie theater for decades and is one of the highest-grossing film franchises in cinematic history.

On Friday, the 25th Bond film "No Time to Die" arrived in cinemas in the U.K. ahead of its Oct. 8 domestic release.

The previous 24 films have collectively generated more than $6.89 billion globally and starred seven different actors — Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

"No Time to Die" marks Craig's fifth and final turn as the iconic British spy. With Craig as the star, the James Bond franchise has seen its best theatrical run in history, garnering nearly $3.2 billion globally between 2006's "Casino Royale" and 2015's "Spectre," according to data from Comscore.

In fact, the 2012 "Skyfall" was the first James Bond film to top $1 billion worldwide.

Of course, these days, ticket prices are much higher and there are far more entertainment options for consumers to spend their money on, so the box office receipts from the 1960s look quite different than today's numbers. But box office experts don't adjust for inflation because there are many variables that would need to go into the calculation beyond the changing ticket price such as additional international markets, among other factors.

During Connery's time as Bond, the franchise averaged around $100 million at the global box office. At that time, tickets to the cinema were less than $2 and a James Bond film was released annually.

After Lazenby's solo run as 007 and Connery's reprisal, Roger Moore took over the role for seven films, generating an average of $120 million at the box office between 1973 and 1985. At that time, tickets cost around $2.50 each.

Dalton took over for two films, generating similar results at a time when tickets sold for just under $4.

It wasn't until audiences had a six-year gap between Dalton's "License to Kill" and the debut of Brosnan in "Goldeneye" that the James Bond franchise saw a massive boost in box office receipts.

1997's "Goldeneye" became the highest-grossing James Bond film with $356 million tickets sold worldwide. Over the course of four films, Brosnan's Bond averaged $372 million per picture at the box office and helped reinvigorate the brand.

Then came Craig. "Casino Royale" updated the 007 character and was a more fleshed-out and grittier incarnation of the iconic hero. The film tallied nearly $600 million during its theatrical run in 2006.

It's unclear how 2021's "No Time to Die" will ultimately perform at the global box office compared with its predecessors. The film is being released at a tumultuous time in the movie theater business. The coronavirus pandemic shutdown the industry for months and ticket sales have yet to recover.

The studio tried to give the film its best chance for a strong box office haul by delaying it during the pandemic.

"No Time to Die" was first pushed from its November 2019 release when Danny Boyle, who was supposed to write and direct the film, left the project. It bounced between a few dates before landing a release in April 2020. With movie theaters shut around the world during the health crisis, it was first pushed to November 2020 and then to April 2021 before it settled on an October date.

Advanced ticket sales internationally and domestically have given box office analysts hope for a solid theatrical run. Especially, because if fans want to get their Bond fix, they'll have to see "No Time to Die" in a theater.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal and CNBC. Universal is releasing "No Time To Die" internationally while MGM handles the domestic release. Amazon announced plans to buy MGM earlier this year.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to show that there is a six-year gap between "License to Kill" and "Goldeneye." Also, an earlier disclosure implied the Amazon acquisition of MGM had been completed.

Copyright CNBCs - CNBC
Contact Us