The Bond market: 007’s economic impact

What the experts said about the film franchise’s latest blockbuster

Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas in No Time to Die
007: impressive ‘return on investment’
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Pay attention, 007

The fifth and final 007 film starring Daniel Craig, No Time to Die, “scored an estimated $119.1m” in international sales last weekend, notching up the best ever “opening weekend results for a James Bond flick in 24 countries”, said Sarah Whitten on CNBC.

Welcome news for the movie’s co-distributors, Amazon-owned MGM and Universal, following the film’s repeatedly postponed opening during the pandemic. Ultimately, that has worked in its favour, said Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “Pent-up demand built over a six-year wait since Spectre, plus the significance of the end of the Craig era… made this required viewing for even the most casual 007 fan.” Indeed, William Hill has cut the odds from 10-1 to 7-1 that No Time to Die will become the highest grossing UK film of all time.

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Licence to sell

The franchise’s success and longevity owes much to the right props, said Lex in the FT. “Take away the Aston Martin, the Omega watches and the Dom Pérignon”, and Bond “is little more than a hitman with a penchant for one-liners”. In 2002, Ford, then owner of Aston Martin, reportedly paid $35m to reunite Bond with the marque in Die Another Day after BMW had “usurped” the role. That deal is proving fruitful: No Time to Die features no fewer than four different Aston Martin models. This latest release also saw a Nokia mobile phone replace Bond’s old Sony one. Nokia’s Finnish owner, HMD, is likely to have paid handsomely. But the “return on investment” can be impressive. Soon after Craig sported swimwear maker Orlebar Brown’s trunks in 2012’s Skyfall, the company “was acquired by Chanel”.

A Time to Buy?

Bond memorabilia collectors can also expect a payday, said Rachel Russell on Sky News. At an upcoming Prop Store auction, a suit worn by the late Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice is expected to go for more than £40,000. Great news for a “superfan” like David Zaritsky whose collection, honed over 25 years, ranges from an Armani leather jacket worn in Casino Royale to “beer bottles from Skyfall”, said the Daily Mail. Zaritsky launched a YouTube channel on the back of it – and now, he says, “we’re up to 9.3m viewers”.

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