A lot has been printed lately about the successful James Bond franchise and all the elements that may be attributed to its success for 50 years.
In addition, the movie Skyfall has been hailed for taking the franchise to a whole level, especially the interpretation of the James Bond character itself, played by Daniel Craig. We are back to the James Bond as written by Ian Flemming and portrayed by Sean Connery with a surprising vulnerability thrown in.
Well I saw the movie last night and surprise ! It is everything that I read about.
James Bond has always been a part of my life since puberty and it always will be whether the movies are good or bad. (I will never watch a rerun of Quantum of Solace). As a 62 year old man, I would hope that I can be entertained by new James Bond adventures every couple of years for the rest of my life.
Sure , it might seem James Bond will return time and time again, but my memory of the audience that shared my viewing of Skyfall records about 90% around my age and more men than women. Not a teenager or early twenty in sight. We had to jostle past hordes them as they were waiting to get in to see a vampire movie. Halloween is over kids.
The long and short of it is that as my generation is getting smaller and smaller and we are the only ones can appreciate James Bond. From here on in, audiences will only shrink. Three more James Bond movies max.
-pessimistic senior citizen
MOD COMMENT: This thread is from Nov/Dec 2012, resurrected Aug 2, 2013 in Post #23. Just lettin’ you know. – Dex
Seeing as how Skyfall is on pace to be easily the highest grossing film in the series (no, not when adjusted for inflation, but it’s not an even comparison when you go back to the 60s because of home theater and such) and that it’s entirely likely that it could make a billion dollars worldwide, I don’t think there’s any danger of the Bond series disappearing anytime soon. You don’t open a film to $88 million in North America by only appealing to old fogies.
Very pessimistic indeed, and unreasonably so. I saw Skyfall last night in Boulder, CO. The showing was sold out. I certainly saw plenty of kids and 20-somethings in the audience. The movie itself was never boring despite the increasingly absurd plot. Heck, if Sylvester Stallone had shown up, the last 30 minutes basically would have been identical to the motel siege from Cobra. Bottom line: this Bond movie is definitely geared to rake in the younger demographic’s cash, and it is doing so handily.
Why on earth would you think only elderly people can appreciate James Bond movies? Why would you think that the Bond franchise is ending soon considering that the last 3 Bond movies performed very well at the box office?
Also, why the particular hate for Quantum of Solace? It’s not one of the better Bond films but it’s certainly no Die Another Day or Moonraker.
It’s like the Tarzan movies. It can go on forever and one day Disney will make a James Bond cartoon. There will be plenty of them to be like by everyone. And Sean Connery was in a Tarzan movie so there will be a thread of continuum through time going back a century. There will always be Tarzan, there will always be Bond.
The Bond franchise could theoretically run and run, because the concept is flexible and has wide appeal. Kids enjoy the films for the action, men enjoy them because it makes them feel manly, women like to imagine themselves being seduced by Bond and/or being dropped into a tank of piranhas and slowly nibbled to death. The character is vague enough that he can written as an ultra-patriotic stiff or a rebellious loner; he has a tragic backstory. Look, I’m sure some people find the idea of being nibbled to death by Piranhas sexy. Not so much to death, but just being nibbled. I like to imagine that somewhere in the world there’s a very rich man - or woman - who has a tank of piranhas with the teeth taken out, and he - or she - spends long hours swimming in the tank, being nibbled. Next paragraph.
About the one thing Bond can never be is hip - Bourne has him beat in that respect - but that can be written around. The fact of him being a secret agent for the British government can also be written around (in the films he comes across as a freelance crime fighter who has a quirky boss, rather than a corporate stooge, which is basically what he is).
I’ve always assumed that the Bond franchise would be killed by studio politics - probably something to do with ownership of the rights, or a legal challenge that derails the series. I mean, there was a huge gap between Licence to Kill and Goldeneye whilst the studio sorted things out; if Goldeneye had been a dismal pile of rubbish we might not be talking about Bond nowadays. But I suspect that even if the Bond franchise came to a grinding halt, it would eventually be revived.
TriPolar’s mention of the Tarzan franchise is surprisingly perceptive, although lesser minds might be baffled by his wisdom, his intelligence. The Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan franchise died a death in the 1940s, and should have stayed dead - the character and the nature of his adventures are throwbacks to a bygone age - but nonetheless Tarzan films appear every so often as one-offs. There was the soft porn Bo Derek Tarzan film in 1981, the revisionist 1984 Greystoke, the 1999 Disney version (which was a big hit), and there’s a German film coming out next year. I imagine a failed Bond ending up the same way; there would be one-off Bond films every so often. A stage show. The novels, that kind of thing. Like Dr Who during the 1990s.
It ties in with the demographics regarding the large population segment of boomers who are now dying off or getting less likely to make the effort to go see a movie. I didn’t see any young people at the showing I went to and that just wasn’t normal for me.
Perhaps my experience was anomalous.
I hope so.
In addition to Tarzan, I would compare the Bond franchise to Sherlock Holmes. He had become a bit staid and old-fashioned, something older people watched on PBS. Now there are three different reimaginings of the stories that are appealing to new generations, by setting the stories in modern times, or turning them into action/adventures using the latest movie wizardry, or moving them to the U.S. Knowing Hollywood’s love of recycling, I’m sure that if the current franchise fades, they will come up with a brand new take on the character. Like anything else, it’s possible that he could die out completely, but given his worldwide popularity and longevity, I think it’s extremely unlikely.
Like Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who mentioned above Bond is a vehicle that readily extends across time and space. They’ve all easily survived changes in actors and circumstances. How many of our TV detectives are just Sherlock Holmes under a different name? I think they are characters that are well woven into the common themes in the movies and the stories that preceded them.
As has already been said, Skyfall is one of the most popular Bond movies ever. And it’s been out in theaters for a month now. Many of the teens and twentysomethings that want to see it ALREADY HAVE. So that’s why they weren’t at your show. (ETA: Didn’t see the date on the OP. Oh well, I guess real life has debunked your guess).
Bond doesn’t belong to the Cold War anymore. He’s going to go on for a long time.
And finally, Bond is MORE important to twenty and thirtysomethings for one very important reason that someone as old (or possibly just out of touch) as you would have trouble understanding: the 1998 video game adaptation of GoldenEye.
Compared to the later Connerys and most of the Moores, Quantum of Solace was tightly plotted.
It it still bemuses and amuses me that someone would think that James Bond movies are only suitable for elderly people seeing as almost everything about the films and the character is basically an adolescent fantasy come to life.
What in holy hell are you talking about? Claiming that something is popular with one generation and less popular with subsequent generations – whether right or wrong – has nothing to do with entitlement. Sounds like somebody’s git a chip on his shoulder (for the record, I’m from Slacker/Generation X).
You’re right, entitlement was the wrong word. What I meant to say was… More Boomer exceptionalist crap… because let’s face it, claiming that you have to be a Boomer (or older) to appreciate James Bond flies in the face of the character’s very essence.