Analysis of 007: James Bond Films

An analysis that would make M proud

The James Bond films are the longest running series in cinematic history, with a total of 24 films since Sean Connery’s debut as James Bond in 1962’s Dr. No. It is one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time with an estimated worth of approximately $15 billion USD.

This is a data analysis project that I’ve considered doing for a while. In 2006, when Daniel Craig took the reigns in Casino Royale, I was curious whether the movie had been more financially successful than its predecessors, despite the outcry of viewers who expressed uncertainty about the first “blonde Bond.” With the latest installment of 007 arriving in theaters this Fall, I thought it would be a great time to dig into the films’ data to see what additional insights I could discover.

Assumptions

This analysis is based on Andrew Block’s James Bond Movie Dataset, available via Kaggle.

  • World Gross (USD) data was used to make an accurate comparison against the worldwide user ratings available from IMDB.
  • The accuracy of financial data was verified using other data sources.
  • All financial data used for the analysis (Budget, Gross, Profit) was adjusted for 2018, in accordance with the most recently available Consumer Price Index data.
  • Two additional data columns were added: Profit (Adj. Gross - Budget) and “Years Since Last Release.”

Questions to Explore

Based on the data, these are a few of the questions I decided to explore:

  1. Are profits & ratings tied together?
  2. Does budget affect ratings or profit?
  3. Does film length have an effect on profit/ratings?
  4. Is a film more well received the longer between releases?
  5. How does the actor, director, Bond car, number of martinis or times “Bond, James Bond” is said affect profit/ratings?

Summary

  1. There was a positive association between profit and ratings. Highly rated movies were generally more profitable and vice versa.
  2. The overall budget per film has been steadily increasing over the last 5 decades, but has not necessarily generated an increase in profit.

    There does not appear to be a relationship between budget and profit.

    Generally, smaller budget 007 films were higher rated but the relationship was extremely weak.
  3. In general, films lasting shorter or longer than 115–135 minutes were rated higher. There was no relationship between film length and profit.
  4. On average, Bond films were most frequently released every 2 years (with the longest being 6 years). There was very weak evidence that absence may have made the heart grow fonder, but not necessarily have made films more profitable.
  5. Sean Connery’s performance as Bond was the most profitable at $766 million, followed by Daniel Craig at $675 million. Meanwhile, Timothy Dalton’s performance was the least profitable at $282 million.

    It appears the “blonde Bond” won fans over after all. On average, Daniel Craig’s James Bond films were rated the highest, followed by Sean Connery’s. Timothy Dalton’s portrayals were rated the worst.

    Sam Mendes, Guy Hamilton and Lewis Gilbert were among the most profitable directors on average, while Martin Campbell’s franchise renewals (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) made him especially popular among viewers.

    Movies featuring Bond’s classic Aston Martin were rated the highest. Conversely, viewers generally disliked movies featuring a Rolls Royce for the Bond mobile.

    There was not a clear connection between profit/ratings and the number of martinis sipped or times “Bond, James Bond” was said.

Additional Statistics

On average, a Bond movie costs $102 million while earning $677 million at the box office, thereby profiting approximately $575 million per film.

Daniel Craig has sipped the most martinis as Bond, followed by Pierce Brosnan.

Roger Moore played James Bond the most. He also delivered the famous “Bond, James Bond” line the most.

Details

If you’re interested in reviewing the visualizations I created during this analysis, thanks for sticking around. Below, you’ll find the charts and statistical data used to make inferences. The graphics are listed in order of the summary and statistics listed above.

There was a clear relationship between ratings and profit. Higher rated movies tended to be more profitable on average than lower rated movies.

Pearson coefficient = 0.6, P-val < 0.05

Over time, the budget for Bond films have definitively grown.

Pearson coefficient = 0.90, P-val < 0.05

However, the low Pearson coefficient and high p-value indicates there may be no relationship between profit and time.

Pearson coefficient = -0.27, P-val = 0.2

There does not appear to be a relationship between budget and profit, however there are currently more highly profitable films made with a low budget than with a higher budget.

Pearson coefficient = -0.14, P-val = 0.5

Film length appeared to have a quadratic relationship with ratings, where films less than 120 minutes or longer than 130 tended to be rated higher.

Pearson coefficient = NA, P-val = NA

There was also no relationship between film length and profit.

Pearson coefficient = -0.04, P-val = 0.9

Generally, 007 films are released every 1–2 years. There was a very weak relationship between ratings and the number of years since a release, but it is virtually not present. There is absolutely no relationship with profit.

Pearson coefficient = 0.15, P-val = 0.5
Pearson coefficient = -0.003, P-val = 0.99

On average, Sean Connery’s portrayal of James Bond generated the most profit, while Timothy Dalton’s provided the least.

Daniel Craig’s performance lead to the highest rated Bond films on average, followed by Sean Connery. Meanwhile, Pierce Brosnan’s portrayal was least enjoyed by fans. It appears as if the “blonde Bond” won fans over afterall!

Sam Mendes has established himself as a profitable director of Bond films. Martin Campbell’s franchise renewals, Goldeneye and Casino Royale, made him especially popular with viewers.

The classic Aston Martin appeared more frequently than any other Bond car. In general, it was both the fan favorite and contributed to a profitable Bond film.

Bond frequently introduces himself at least once per film and sips on as many martinis. However, the relationship with either profit or ratings is not statistically significant.

Pearson coefficient = -0.28–0.09, P-val > 0.15

Statistically, a Bond film costs between $52MM and $138MM to produce, bringing in revenue somewhere between $522MM and $785MM — leaving a profit of $404MM-$683MM.

Out of all the 007s, Roger Moore has portrayed Bond, and introduced himself as such, the most. Meanwhile, Daniel Craig has had more than twice as many martinis as Pierce Brosnan!

Data Analyst, Citizen Scientist, Amateur Astronomer