James Bond has been named the world’s most popular film hero ahead of modern rivals such as Batman, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter.
A study of box office figures compiled by Variety, the entertainment magazine, places Britain’s favorite agent in pole position ahead of franchises including Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings. Bond’s on-screen adventures, renowned for their stunning special effects and beautiful women, have now taken more than £2.46 billion at the box office – £500 million more than his nearest rival.
Ian Fleming’s most famous creation, who has been played by five different actors in 20 films, made it to the silver screen 15 years before Star Wars, the second-longest-running fantasy franchise. But not even his worst on-screen enemies could put down his success to longevity. Indeed, his box office lead over Star Wars, his nearest rival, grows considerably when figures are adjusted to take inflation into account. Thunderball, released in 1965, grossed more than £76.7 million at the box office. At today’s rate of inflation, that would be worth more than £429 million.
The Bond series has suffered several lulls but have recently gone from strength to strength, with each new film taking at least £26.8 million more at the box office than its predecessor. By contrast, rival franchises have struggled to maintain their position.
Jane Seymour, who played Solitaire in Live and Let Die in 1973, puts Bond’s success down to the fact that he is “debonair”. She added: “He has a very dark side but his Britishness lets him get away with murder.”