The BOX OFFICE MOJO website has tools that let you look beyond unadjusted movie box office. You can also, for example, get a listing (for the U.S. and Canada, at least) of the estimated number of tickets sold.
There are various formulas for adjusting box office figures for inflation. But tickets sold is basic. So we decided to take a look back at the number of tickets sold for the eight 007 films of the past 20 years. Home video was firmly established, as opposed to the early years of the Bond series, where it didn’t exist and movies could get re-released.
Using this measure, 2012’s Skyfall, by far, sold the most tickets among 007 films in the region. After that, there’s less difference that the unadjusted box office figures might suggest.
What follows is each movie’s total U.S.-Canada tickets sold, with the number in parenthesis the number for its opening weekend. The average ticket price for each year is also listed. The total figure for SPECTRE is through Nov. 23.
GoldenEye (1995): 24,403,900 (6,024,100); average ticket price, $4.35
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997): 26,911,200 (5,477,800); average ticket price, $4.59
The World Is Not Enough (1999): 24,853,800 (6,991,900); average ticket price, $5.08
Die Another Day (2002): 27,584,000 (8,101,900); average ticket price, $5.81
Casino Royale (2006): 25,428,700 (6,234,100); average ticket price, $6.55
Quantum of Solace (2008): 23,449,600 (9,405,100); average ticket price, $7.18
Skyfall (2012): 37,842,000 (10,977,000); average ticket price, $7.96
SPECTRE (2015): 18,085,500, through Nov. 23, (8,176,900); average ticket price, $8.34
UPDATE: Out of curiosity, we went back to the earliest days of the series. Remember, these movies had re-releases, in some cases several re-releases. But in the cases of Goldfinger and Thunderball, you get an idea that Bond was a *very* big thing in the U.S. in the mid-1960s. Also, there was a big decline, relatively speaking, when You Only Live Twice came out. At the same time, Twice sold almost as many tickets in the U.S. and Canada as Skyfall did. Anyway, here’s a sampling:
Thunderball (1965): 74,800,000 (no opening weekend figure available)
Goldfinger (1964): 66,300,000
You Only Live Twice (1967): 35,904,000
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969): 16,038,400
Diamonds Are Forever (1971): 26,557,300
Live And Let Die (1973): 19,987,500
Moonraker (1979): 28,011,200 (2,832,000 opening weekend)
Octopussy (1983): 21,553,500 (2,826,200)
Licence to Kill (1989): 8,732, 200 (2,210,300)
UPDATE II: To give that Thunderball figure some perspective, the top box office movie in the U.S. and Canada so far this year has been Jurassic World. It sold about 79 million tickets, according to Box Office Mojo. While comparisons that far apart are dicey, it’s fair to say Thunderball was in the same general league in its day. But before Bond fans brag too much, The Sound of Music (released the same year as Thunderball and also re-released several times), sold more than 142 million tickets.
Filed under: James Bond Films | Tagged: Box Office Mojo, Casino Royale, Diamonds Are Forever, Die Another Day, Goldeneye, Goldfinger, Licence to Kill, Moonraker, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, SPECTRE, The World Is Not Enough, Thunderball, Tomorrow Never Dies, You Only Live Twice | 3 Comments »