Thursday, November 16, 2006

James Bond -- How Will Daniel Craig Measure Up?

Sure, he can fill out some bathing trunks. But can Daniel Craig succeed where it counts -- at the box office? Director Martin Campbell talks about fighting to get Craig in the role. I'm certain that "Casino Royale" will be a major commercial step down from the Pierce Brosnan era. I just don't see this movie coming anywhere near $456 million worldwide. Since it's clearly modeled on the Jason Bourne movies -- tough, realistic action with a hero that bleeds -- I'd say their worldwide box office is much more realistic. Sure, the Bond name sells tickets (and has always been massively more popular around the world than here until Brosnan), but without tons of stunts, this Bond will probably settle in around $250 million worldwide. That's just between the $213 million of Matt Damon's "The Bourne Identity" and the $274 million take of "The Bourne Supremacy." $300 million would be great. Some will say that's a disappointment, but this Bond accomplishes everything they wanted -- it ends the silliness of stuff like that invisible car, ends the campy humor and grounds Bond in a real-world setting that will make him a hero to root for in years to come. Here are the US and worldwide grosses for the official Bond movies (skipping the spoof "Casino Royale" and Sean Connery's "Never Say Never Again") per The Numbers and the LA Times.

1. Dr. No -- $ 16 million (US)/$ 59 million (worldwide)
2. From Russia With Love -- $ 24 million (US)/$ 78 million (worldwide)
3. Goldfinger -- $ 51 million (US)/$124 million (worldwide)
4. Thunderball -- $ 63 million (US)/$141 million (worldwide)
5. You Only Live Twice -- $ 43 million (US)/$111 million (worldwide)
6. On Her Majesty's... -- $ 22 million (US)/$ 82 million (worldwide)
7. Diamonds Are Forever -- $ 43 million (US)/$116 million (worldwide)
8. Live and Let Die -- $ 35 million (US)/$161 million (worldwide)
9. Man W Golden Gun -- $ 21 million (US)/$ 97 million (worldwide)
10. Moonraker -- $ 70 million (US)/$210 million (worldwide)
11. For Your Eyes Only -- $ 54 million (US)/$195 million (worldwide)
12. Octopussy -- $ 67 million (US)/$187 million (worldwide)
13. A View To A Kill -- $ 50 million (US)/$152 million (worldwide)
14. The Living Daylights -- $ 51 million (US)/$191 million (worldwide)
15. License To Kill -- $ 34 million (US)/$156 million (worldwide)
16. Goldeneye -- $106 million (US)/$353 million (worldwide)
17. Tomorrow Never Dies -- $125 million (US)/$346 million (worldwide)
18. World Is Not Enough -- $126 million (US)/$390 million (worldwide)
19. Die Another Day -- $160 million (US)/$456 million (worldwide)
20. Casino Royale -- TK/TK

You look at that list and one question springs to mind from a purely business point of view: why the hell did they dump Pierce Brosnan?


joe said...

Some more Bond links that I came across recently:

This link shows the worldwide box office numbers adjusted for inflation (to 2005 I believe):

This one shows the total admissions and budget of each film:

And this one includes the salary of each Bond (notice how Brosnan's salary ballooned towards the end. Perhaps with the success of his last film he was looking for a sizeable raise at a time that they were looking to cut down on the expenses?).

Michael in New York said...

I think the main reason they dumped Brosnan was because they couldn't do the gritty reboot theey wanted (and that he was pushing for too) and return to the beginning with him. It just wouldn't have made sense. As for the total admissions link, that chart is interesting but highly suspect since they don't give any source for that info. I once worked on a ranking of the top movies of all time for Premiere based on paid admissions. (As a fact checker, not a writer.) It was literally a months-long project with the writer digging through the archives at major studios, cross-referencing w distributor info and so on in an incredibly complicated dance. Trying to get those figures worldwide is almost patently ridiculous. The variables in pricing around the world and the quality of records is so spotty that all anyone can do is take a wild guess. Pure rank speculation. But fun. And did Goerge Lazenby really turn down a seven film contract?

Anonymous said...

250 million mark?? That was always going to be WAY off mate. How wrong were you.....will probably end up with around 580 million.