Why Amazon should produce a James Bond series, instead of making another movie.
Amazon this year spent 8.5 billion dollars buying MGM and got the rights to Rocky, Stargate, Legally Blonde, Silence of the Lambs and the big one, James Bond.
James Bond has been played now by seven actors, has had 26 films and adjusted for inflation, the franchise has made 15 billion just in theaters.
But here’s why another James Bond movie is probably something to hold off on.
- Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig’s first Bond film was in 2006 and he’s ending a 15 year career as James Bond this year. He is the longest serving Bond to do the role in history and adjusted for inflation, the highest earning James Bond actor by far with both the box office and his salary.
The problem with that is attachment to the role where he’s more or less become the character. It makes it so any future Bond actor will be compared to him and the risk of selling another Bond movie would be comparable to risk such as hiring an actor to be Batman and get a Ben Affleck type backlash.
- The Bond movies are expensive.
Skyfall originally was struggling to get its 200 million dollar budget approved. Quantum Solace, which was the Bond film prior made under 600 million on a budget of 185m, which means it was likely unprofitable.
Heineken put up 45 million dollars for Skyfall in product placement and other deals covered about 100 million of the movies budget. Daniel Craig came out publicly saying the movie wouldn’t have happened without Heineken.
This is a really good story for James Bond, because the cost to produce were low and that movie made a billion dollars. That said though, Bond movies can still fail and producing one is 200 million dollar deal.
- It’s saturated
Now having over two dozen movies with some of them failing, there’s really no promise this would succeed in theaters with a brand new actor and high cost expectations.
Everyone has seen Bond before and with theater revenue being on a decline, I don’t think another James Bond movie makes sense for a long time.
So, why would Amazon want to do a series.
Amazon Prime has 200 million subscribers and 150 million are American.
Comparing that, Netflix has 200 million subscribers, but half are international.
Amazon Prime does great with American consumers due to the shipping mix, but the streaming element isn’t a big enough reason for people overseas to bite.
James Bond could change that.
Spectre made 200 million in the US.
680 million international
Skyfall made 300 million in the Us.
800 million international
Just a quick comparison, the Dark Knight Rises came out the same year as Skyfall and made about the same amount of money at 1.1 billion. It made 450 million at the box office in the US and 600 million internationally.
James Bond is beloved in Europe and other parts of the world, where most franchises aren’t as popular.
Gearing James Bond and Amazon Prime together could be the key to landing Amazon stronger international numbers.
Now, why a series versus another movie.
- It’d be new and could be seen as innovation.
- Amazon is spending movie level money on series.
Amazon bought the rights to make a Lord of the Rings series for 250 million. They committed to spending 200 million a season for a five season plan.
The budget for season one has been rumored to be the most expensive thing in the history of entertainment, at 465 million.
They wouldn’t need to spend that much money, but with franchises such as Stranger Things commanding 10 million an episode for budget, James Bond could get something like that and look movie level quality.
Netflix does it with the higher end shows they make.
HBO Max is planning on doing it with their DC series.
Disney is doing it with all Marvel, Star Wars & Pixar shows for Disney+.
Streaming has put the movie budget to series.
That’s why I think moving James Bond away from the theater and onto people’s fire sticks is the way to go.
Now, what would a show look like?
Not a huge fan of Bond personally, but casting seems like a bit of an issue.
A lot of people online react crazy over the idea of someone such as Idris Elba getting the part and other actors looked at are either too unknown or too expensive.
The Crown is one of Netflix most popular series and had a pretty innovative idea for every other season casting an entirely new group of people to show the change in time zone.
Do a James Bond show set in the 50s and every other season, move the character a decade and bring in a new Bond actor, sort of similar to how the movies worked anyway, with one continuity for decades, but different actors.
Just a thought and one I’d actually not be shocked if it happens.
No Time To Die, due to theater issues will likely underperform and Amazon clearly didn’t buy MGM to keep it business as normal.