The prize at the end of EON production’s rainbow.
A few years ago I toyed with the idea of starting a YouTube channel. Not that I’m unhappy writing here, but I thought it might have made for another outlet with more exposure and maybe make a few extra Sheckles as well.
“Great, just what the world needed, an animated version of your adolescent drivel!”
Looking around the YouTube landscape I came to a sad realization, James Bond is not that big a deal. He’s popular yes, a money maker sure, but definitely not a billion dollar franchise.
“Umm, Skyfall made a Billion dollars!”
Yes, and the fact that is treated as monumental proves my point. There are a lot of reasons why it made that much, the 50th anniversary and London Olympics chief among them, but quality and sustained “Bond mania” weren’t it. Back to my aborted video aspirations, I realized I’d be doing four times the work for one quarter of the satisfaction, starting with a search for James Bond on the site I found a great many videos by various general entertainment channels reviewing the numerous films. However, you have to look closely to find the Bond specific channels, buried beneath the chicken feed we can find the top three Bond channels, first up:
The channel of none other than the underpants gnome!
The real scary thing isn’t the fact this guy obsesses over what brand of tighty whiteys Craig wears in any given scene, but that there are over sixty two thousand like minded individuals out there!
“Yes my minions, this is how you properly mummify a corpse into a mannequin for your tiny swim trunk display.”
Next we have:
A rather affable, if too enthusiastic young man who’s most striking feature is his resemblance to the bloke who plays Jim in the American version of The Office.
Dyson has fifty two thousand subscribers as of this writing, no small sum, how ever as we’ll soon see:
A rather bizarre chap who just mashes stuff from Bond films together and somehow garnered over twenty thousand subs!
“Every Time James Bond Sees David Zaritsky“
Okay, what about “Bond expert” and self published “author” Joseph Darlington? Surely a scholar so well respected by the likes of MI6-HQ would have many subscribers. Well, the oft referenced raconteur barely tops ten thousand followers!
BTW, MI6-HQ only have 3k subs themselves!
Ok those are just some “independent” content creators, what of the official Bond channel?
James Bond 007 (007? Isn’t that Nomi now?)
The real, official James Bond YouTube channel can barely muster up seven hundred thousand people who can be arsed with the series! But, Benny that sounds like a rather sizable sum? Let’s compare that to another old and storied franchise that doesn’t have nearly as many films under it’s belt:
The official channel for the galaxy far, far away has 3.9 MILLION subscribers! and it’s not just the official site, there’s this fella who rivals the official site with over three million subs of his own!
So I think we’ve established, whatever your opinion of the franchise for better or worse, Star Wars is a big deal and Bond is decidedly not. I’m not even laying any of this at Dan Craig’s feet, the truth is quite frankly Bond hasn’t been a “big deal” for quite some time. Obviously Bond created the espionage thriller and perhaps the entire action film genre, but after peaking in 1965 with Thunderball, he’s been sitting on a plateau for the past 50+ years. Since the 70’s, Bond films when adjusted for inflation, tend to average in the $500-$800m range. As I pointed out a few years ago in this rant (Cash King Craig), that most “despicable,” “deplorable” and “franchise ending” film Die Another Day grossed $431m in 2002, in 2021 money that’s $650m not too far behind No, Time To Die. Consider Die Another Day was released in 50 fewer countries than the “sublime,” “cerebral” and “magnificent” Casino Royale which grossed $827m in 2021 money, just a hair more than the dismal SPECTRE. Bond isn’t a big deal to anyone but a handful of slavish fanatics, the general public doesn’t pay much attention, coming and going to the series every third or fourth film.
“Hmm, the new Bond film is out, ooh wait, there’s a double feature of Paint Drying and Grass Growing!”
A bit of unsolicited advice for EON productions, you’re at a crossroads now, try casting an A-list actor to play Bond, rather than the villains, try to make films more frequently so the character stays in the public zeitgeist and put a little more effort into your stories. Maybe then you can vacate that “rarified air” occupied by the likes of campy, schlockfest fare such as the Fast and Furious franchise, you know the film series spawned from a cheap remake of Point Break, but with cars! Oops, wait, they have two films that earned over a billion! Or if you insist on hiring a C-list actor, pinching out a film every half decade and writing your scripts as you film, then do yourself a favor. Cut your production budget so you at least get to keep a little more of the modest cash your film earns.
You don’t need to purpose build a cabin in a remote corner of Norway where you have to grease the palms of the local gentry, when you can easily use the Pinewood back lot. If Ken Adam in 1964 could build a replica of Fort Knox so convincing U.S. Treasury officials believed they filmed on location, surely you can erect a cabin locally on a budget. Same goes for Jamaican huts, why are you scratch building on location when I’m sure you could find and rent a property just as suitable for far less. It would be one thing if the sets are getting destroyed in the film, but since they aren’t, stop pissing away your money and maybe you’ll have a little left over to invest in the little things like decent writers!
After paying off the cast, crew and advertising firm.