A Bankable Bond?

A Bankable Bond?
Lacey Rose, 11.17.06
Does Daniel Craig make a good James Bond? Yes, say
most critics who have reviewed the actor's debut in the
franchise’s 21st installment, Casino Royale, which
opens Friday.

But the decision to cast Craig in the Sony (nyse: SNE -
news - people ) film was not always so well-received.
Initially, fans of the lucrative franchise argued that
Craig was too blond for the role. Or too suave. Or not
suave enough. And did we mention he was blond?

In their defense, Bond's fans haven’t had much
experience with change when it comes to their leading
man. In the franchise’s 43-year run, only five actors--
Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy
Dalton and Pierce Brosnan--have played the part, with
varying degrees of success.

Connery, the franchise’s first Bond, was the franchise’s
most successful 007, at least from a box office
perspective. The six films he starred in grossed $3.9
billion worldwide in 2006 dollars, besting Roger
Moore's total of $3.6 billion for his 7 films.

Least successful was Lazenby, whose 1969 debut in On
Her Majesty's Secret Service was considered a
commercial let down (only by Bond standards can a
film that grossed $441.3 in 2006 dollars be considered
a box office flop).

How Craig will compare to his predeccessors remains
to be seen, but the studio seem to be confident. The
actor, whose previous films include 2005’s Munich and
2004’s Layer Cake, has signed on for the 22nd Bond
flick, slated for release in 2008.

Former Bond Stars at the Global Box Office
Sean Connery
6 Films
$3,880.4 million
George Lazenby
1 Film
$441.3 million
Roger Moore
7 Films
$3,568.7 million
Timothy Dalton
2 Films   
$595.7 million
Pierce Brosnan
4 Films
$1,810.9 million