No time to die and the next evolution of the James Bond franchise

Daniel Craig No time to die It marks the end of the 007 era and the beginning of a new future for James Bond. MGM

No time to die, the fifth and final version of Daniel Craig as James Bond, arrives in US cinemas this weekend after nearly two years of delay. The swan song crowned Craig’s 15-year longest, making him 007’s longest-serving after slipping on the 2006 tuxedo in devastating fashion. Casino Royale. But in that time, the entertainment world surrounding the iconic spy has changed dramatically. Just as Craig’s brooding Bond bulldozer from Roger Moore’s campy iteration is virtually unrecognizable, today’s Hollywood is an entirely new economic, cultural, and technological playground.

The cosmic tremor of the Martini Destiny you see no time for TheArrival coincides with Amazon’s acquisition of MGM Studios, part owner of the Bond franchise. As such, Craig’s conclusion pushes the drug’s future into a unique unknown. To chart a course forward, we need to understand what James Bond represents for Hollywood, how the franchise evolved, and what the future might hold for the cute killer.

James Bond Box Office No Time To Die
The overall James Bond franchise comscore

James Bond at the box office

Bond’s economics is key to its enduring strength and a testament to the staying power of the old-school Hollywood model. No time to die It marks the 25th Bond theatrical film since 1962, and is set to drive the franchise’s global box office gross over $7 billion. Between car chases and shootings, 007 became the fourth highest-grossing movie series in history after the Marvel Cinematic Universe, star Wars, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

“The most important thing to consider when looking at Bond’s box office history is its unparalleled longevity,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comscore, told the Observer. “There is no other ongoing franchise that has remained viable and relevant over 60 years in the entirety of Hollywood. It is remarkably consistent.”

Adjusted for inflation, only one of 24 previous Bond films failed to make $100 million domestically. In the unadjusted total, eight consecutive photos 007 crossed that mark, beginning with Pierce Brosnan’s Bond debut. golden eye (1995). Worldwide, the franchise has surpassed $500 million in each of its last four runs (including its first $1 billion with sky fall), the last Bond movie to fail to rank among the world’s top 10 films in its year of release was 1989. license to kill. So, yes, James Bond is making money. Lots of it.

In typical 007 style, the franchise’s success is partly due to its path with gadgets. “The simple fact is that without [product placement]We couldn’t do that,” Craig She said while making sky fall. Omega watches, Gillette razors, Belvedere vodka, Heineken Bear, BMW, Aston Martin and a host of other brands collide with each other to be front and center in your spy adventures. Heineken It said I paid $45 million to appear in sky fall. Jacques de Kock, Marketing Consultant and Lecturer at the London School of Marketing, Estimates That the franchise has earned between $4 billion and $5 billion in marketing sponsorships since 1962 Doctor no. A bond as a broadcast man is an asset that other series don’t have.

“When the product is positioned correctly, it exudes an air of realism while offsetting marketing and production costs,” Dergarabedian said. “He’s a genius.”

And Bond isn’t just Don Draper with a British accent. He is beholden to no one but him, allowing the franchise to spin and reinvent itself undisturbed. Mark O’Connell, author of Catching Bullets: A Memoir of a Bond Fan, he told the Observer. “Also, Marvel’s brain can’t run its movies independently of each other because a continuous connection is more urgent than making a good motion picture. Bond hasn’t made a trip that way yet.”

And Bond’s complex ownership structure has yet to spoil the franchise. As a film property, Bond is jointly owned by the Broccoli Eon Productions family and MGM. These two companies reap most of the reward by licensing intellectual property to distributors, who get more of a reputation boost than outright profit. Sony distributed Craig’s first four Bond films and according to ForbesIt covered half of the production budgets for those films but only collected 25% of the profits.

Now that Amazon owns MGM, the financial situation is already poised to improve on multiple fronts. “It’s huge for Bond,” Dergarabedian said of the technology giant’s acquisition of MGM. “It’s great to have deep pockets of money from Amazon. Eon Productions and Broccolis are going to be the custodians of the content, but the marketers and distributors will need and will have significant resources. And for Amazon, they are now taking a bigger piece of the pie than the previous distributors because they own MGM.”

Amazon MGM James Bond info details
Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas in No time to die. Nicolas Dove / MGM

Is James Bond still important in the franchise ecosystem today?

Bond once reigned as the aspiring franchise model in Hollywood. The MCU then expanded the concept of the franchise from a single character into an entire cross-pollination world that now includes television. with Disney Apply the same logic to star Wars, The entire idea of ​​the film franchise turned into interconnected multimedia novels. Craig Bond attached himself to the ways in which 007 – a character born out of a colonial mindset of white males – was something of a cultural relic. (And even those involved in the franchise, like Q actor Ben Whishaw, recognize the need for “extremist” Change if Bond “wouldn’t become some kind of museum piece.”) But is Bond a relic of the modern franchise-building era?

In keeping with current tricks and combinations of rival films like Marvel and star Wars“The Craig era has strived not to be left behind in an age crowded with box-sets and multi-chain viewing,” O’Connell said. “When Craig’s films lose the one-off mission model that once characterized Bonds, they realize the audience’s ability to invest in the broader stories in game of Thrones And Avengers era. All of our epic TV shows and local dramas are intertwined and interconnected. Bond can do the same.”

In fact, he may already have it. Craig’s iteration of the super spy introduced the serialized storytelling that creates movie-to-movie across the lines, for better and worse. So perhaps what Bond represents for Hollywood is a franchise building model that is flexible enough to exist alongside giants like the MCU. After all, 007’s greatest trick of all time, according to Jeff Bock, chief box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, was to convince audiences they were seeing something new, when in fact the creators were remixing.

“Nothing in Hollywood is a cultural monument unless CEOs and creatives can no longer find a way to extract money from it,” Bock said. “And with IP these days, that’s not just part of the rules of the game.”

No Time To Die James Bond movie review
No time to die MGM

James Bond future

Bond is still a franchise, not yet a universe. star Wars Revitalized by its transition to television, the MCU expanded to the small screen without diminishing its brand. When it comes to building a multimedia franchise, it’s about distinguishing the two mediums. If Bond eventually goes that route under Amazon, he’ll need to identify the franchise’s theatrical components and the streaming components. M, Moneypenny, Q – The world is overflowing with great characters that a talented writer can draw on for small screen strategy. But it should be distinct from theatrical films as the inherent value of Bond over the years is derived from the prestige and exclusivity of theatres. However, Amazon didn’t spend $8.45 billion on MGM for nothing.

“The exciting thing about Bond’s new future, is that there can be many spin-offs – whether theatrical or streaming – happening simultaneously,” Bock said. “The risk of that is obviously exaggerated, but fans will gravitate toward their favourites, as they always do.”

It’s not as if franchise expansion was not previously on the agenda. One show that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael J. Wilson dropped was a television series that followed young Bond as he attended Eton College. Jinx from Halle Berry, introduced in 2002 die another day, He was appointed to lead an episodic movie until MGM I skipped the budget. It is said that Apple wanted to expand the Bond universe to the small screen when it was Franchise Bidding Back in 2017. However, those ambitions still seem of little importance to those with the last word.

“I got it,” Broccoli said recently. movie total When asked if she is still not interested in the James Bond TV series. “We make movies. We make movies for cinema. That’s what we do.” We have resisted this call for 60 years,” Wilson added.

Does the Bond franchise need to move away from the outdated archetype that it has stuck to so tightly for 60 years? Does it need to empower a larger set of characters that better reflect modern sensibilities? If it wants to maintain its momentum, the answer seems obvious. As part of the franchise’s ongoing evolution, Bond needs a new actor to replace Daniel Craig who has the charisma and tenacity to sustain the action movie franchise for more than a decade. The series needs a star that appeals to younger audiences to keep 007 fresh and vibrant as the core demographic of ticket buyers continues to age. And while Amazon is certainly keen to capitalize on its shiny new game with an ambitious expansion of the franchise, the series can’t lose its luster as a cinematic event rather than just a bridge to future chapters to come.

“The Craig era made great strides between the past and the present,” O’Connell said. “Maybe a new Bond movie and a new Bond movie will move forward in a different way – with less respect for the 1960s and the golden age that younger generations don’t get along with.”

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