Sorry to bother you again. I’m in numerology-geek mode.
I realised while writing the original post about Bond and money (interesting how these two go together, isn’t it) that to correctly compare the Bonds over time I’d have to account for the change in purchasing power of the dollar. This isn’t as easy to solve as it sounds.
You see, first you have to decide what is a good measure of purchasing price. After a bit of reading, I went with the traditional Consumer Price Index (CPI). It’s been fairly well agonised over, and the other measures I found were more related to corporate or government buying power. Then there is the problem of which country or countries you pick, and in particular how this matches up with the pattern of movie watching. Given that I don’t have an easy way of figuring this out, and I don’t want to merge the results of dozens of countries, I wimped out and used the Canadian CPI.
The Canadian CPI is easy to find, it is hopefully some weighted average of the US, Europe, and Asia, and it happened to match pretty closely the ticket price I calculated in the previous post. I found that last to be an interesting coincidence, and maybe it is like the correlation between the stock market and skirt heights?
When I applied it to the Jame Bond movies and the results for each major actor, the CPI changed the overall sales and budgets significantly, and changed some of the conclusions of the first post. However, it had no effect on profitability ratios, since for each year both the sales and the budget were in the dollar value of that year, so inflation effects cancelled. It is very important to note that all the results below have been corrected to 1992 dollar values, and that we are talking US dollars.
Okay, get that glazed look again.
Figure 1: First Twenty Movies
The new information here is that the Bond movies made more money in “real” (1992) dollars during the period of Sean Connery through Roger Moore.
Figure 2: Admissions and Ticket Value
Here I added a little information to make the tenure of the different actors clear. Also, the top graph of Figure 1 showing sales is much more in line with audience attendance as shown by the top graph of Figure 2. This is also consistent with the fact that ticket prices were highly correlated with inflation, as indicated in the lower graph. So you could say that the most popular actors (as estimated by attendance at the movies) made the most money (at least in ticket sales) for the franchise.
Figure 3: Sean Connery
The new thing here is that Connery had the two movie with highest sales, and that he did the best overall. He averaged $500 million per movie in 1992 dollars.
Figure 4: Roger Moore
Moore did second best in sales, but gradually weakened as time went on. Moore averaged $375 million per movie (1992 dollars).
Figure 5: Timothy Dalton
Dalton didn’t improve on Roger Moore’s worst movies. Dalton averaged $205 million.
Figure 6: Pierce Brosnan
Brosnan improved sales over Dalton, and was mid-range for Moore. He averaged $350 million per movie.
If using the Canadian CPI is somewhat plausible, these new results show that Connery was both the most popular and the most profitable in absolute terms. If you also assume they invested with even average success, what I have shown here would be exaggerated a lot. Roger Moore did pretty well, Dalton was the worst on both counts, and Brosnan started bringing it back.
I wonder how many billions of dollars have been made over the last 40 years, if you could account for everything? They made $7.86 billion in ticket sales, which translate to about $11 billion in today’s dollars. The movie budgets added to $972 million, which is about $1.35 billion. So just in ticket sales they have averaged a profit of 810%.
No wonder they can afford Astin-Martins (probably for their dish-washers).
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