18th October 2022
We analyse the success of each James Bond film back in UK cinemas this year
By MI6 Staff
UPDATE (20-07-22): Added the last four Roger Moore outings to the tables and analysis.
UPDATE (10-08-22): Added both of Timothy Dalton's outings and Pierce Brosnan's debut to the tables and analysis.
UPDATE (15-09-22): Added Pierce Brosnan's run and Daniel Craig's first two films.
UPDATE (18-10-22): Completed the data and analysis with Craig's final three films.
The James Bond films are being re-released on the big screen in the UK to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the franchise. Select cinemas are scheduling each film, in order, with the latest adventure 'No Time To Die' set to make a return to cinemas on October 5th, which is 'James Bond Day.' Screenings have been in 4K digital at select Vue and Odeon Cinemas across the UK and Ireland and tickets can be booked on the following sites: Odeon, Vue and Cineworld.
The BFI publishes UK & Ireland box-office data for each weekend. Although some of the Bond screenings fall outside the Friday to Sunday window in some locations, the weekend takings are a good indicator of the success of each film. To add another wrinkle, some locations are opting in and out of certain films, so the number of screens available for audiences to watch differs week to week. To that end, the 'per-screen average' of each film has been calculated.
Box-Office Sorted Chronologically
The fortunes of the Bond films vary week by week. Audiences came out in droves for Connery's 'Goldfinger', but dropped off considerably for the follow-up 'Thunderball'. Long ostracised before Daniel Craig's era, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' demonstrated its significance to the fan base by securing almost double the takings of 'Diamonds Are Forever' before it. British audiences flocked back for Roger Moore's debut outing 'Live And Let Die' and even more so for 'The Spy Who Loved Me', with even the critically derided 'The Man With The Golden Gun' out-performing two of Connery's films. Each of Moore's films dropped after the super strong performance 'The Spy Who Loved Me' until 'A View To A Kill' surged back. Timothy Dalton landed impressive results for both his films, perhaps most surprising was 'Licence To Kill's strong showing. Pierce Brosnan burst back on the big screen with 'GoldenEye' and obliterated all before - doubling some of the other takings and smashing 'Goldfinger's record. The rest of his tenure did not fair so well, with takings plummeting for 'Tomorrow Never Dies' and reaching rock bottom for 'Die Another Day'. The series reboot with 'Casino Royale' flipped the trajectory by earning the most of any film so far. It was challenged by 'Skyfall' that was played on more screens than any of the films on the weekend of HM Queen Elizabeth II's funeral when patriotic feelings were running high in the UK. Both 'Quantum of Solace' and 'SPECTRE' faired poorly, but the run was capped with a big take for on the 60th anniversary weekend when Bond was widely covered in the media.
|Dr. No||£ 8,349||89||£ 94|
|From Russia With Love||£ 8,806||104||£ 85|
|Goldfinger||£ 13,960||118||£ 118|
|Thunderball||£ 7,907||98||£ 81|
|You Only Live Twice||£ 8,030||96||£ 84|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service||£ 11,114||110||£ 101|
|Diamonds Are Forever||£ 6,638||99||£ 67|
|Live And Let Die||£ 10,767||114||£ 94|
|The Man With The Golden Gun||£ 8,001||102||£ 78|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||£ 12,844||101||£ 127|
|Moonraker||£ 8,494||102||£ 83|
|For Your Eyes Only||£ 7,631||104||£ 73|
|Octopussy||£ 6,449||99||£ 65|
|A View To A Kill||£ 8,065||98||£ 82|
|The Living Daylights||£ 10,707||100||£ 107|
|Licence To Kill||£ 9,667||99||£ 98|
|GoldenEye||£ 16,800||137||£ 123|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||£ 7,825||99||£ 79|
|The World Is Not Enough||£ 6,933||99||£ 70|
|Die Another Day||£ 6,225||99||£ 63|
|Casino Royale||£ 21,441||122||£ 176|
|Quantum of Solace||£ 9,404||121||£ 78|
|Skyfall||£ 20,361||162||£ 126|
|Spectre||£ 8,992||120||£ 75|
|No Time To Die||£ 17,780||119||£ 149|
Box-Office Sorted By Weekend Takings
'Goldfinger' still proves to be the film to beat with fans and casual audiences alike as it sits atop the chart. Another popular entry with the general public, 'The Spy Who Loved Me', gave it a close run. Whether it found new fans curious about it following 'No Time To Die's liberal lifting from it, or whether it was just a bigger pull for fans not bothering with some of the other films, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' also had a strong box-office. Few would have predicted 'Thunderball' to rank so lowly, and would have been bottom of the pile had it not been for 'Diamonds Are Forever', whose sparkle has certainly faded.
Update: For years ranked at the bottom of the series by many critics, 'A View To A Kill' showed its popularity by landing firmly mid-table, performing better than the prior two Moore outings. The same can not be said of 'Octopussy', which failed to find an audience and took the place of 'Diamonds Are Forever' as the lowest earning film to date.
Update: Few would have predicted that both of Timothy Dalton's films would be just outside the top 5 when this re-release season began. 'The Living Daylights' only narrowly missed out on topping 'Live And Let Die', and both out-performed all of Sean Connery's outings except 'Goldfinger'. A new champion was crowned when 'GoldenEye' jumped in at #1 with a clear advantage over 'Goldfinger' and 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. It is unlikely to be beaten.
Update: The rest of Brosnan's tenure dropped substantially from the success of 'GoldenEye', with each film earning significantly less until 'Die Another Day' hit the rock bottom of the chart. Cinemas anticipated bigger audiences for the Daniel Craig era, expanding the screen count by 30%. They were right as 'Casino Royale' smashed records with daylight to spare, beating out 'GoldenEye' and 'The Spy Who Loved Me' to the new #1 spot. Craig's second outing did not fair as well, comfortably fitting in the middle ground.
Update: Skyfall jumped into the #2 spot with a huge haul, helped in part by having wider distribution than any of the other films (40 more screens than others) and patriotism running high in the country that weekend. The much unloved 'SPECTRE' was a predictable slump, but the run ended strong with 'No Time To Die' coming in at #3 as James Bond was all over the media as the screening coincided with the 60th-anniversary celebrations.
|Casino Royale||£ 21,441|
|No Time To Die||£ 17,780|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||£ 12,844|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service||£ 11,114|
|Live And Let Die||£ 10,767|
|The Living Daylights||£ 10,707|
|Licence To Kill||£ 9,667|
|Quantum of Solace||£ 9,404|
|From Russia With Love||£ 8,806|
|Dr. No||£ 8,349|
|A View To A Kill||£ 8,065|
|You Only Live Twice||£ 8,030|
|The Man With The Golden Gun||£ 8,001|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||£ 7,825|
|For Your Eyes Only||£ 7,631|
|The World Is Not Enough||£ 6,933|
|Diamonds Are Forever||£ 6,638|
|Die Another Day||£ 6,225|
Box-Office Sorted By Per Screen Average
Although the box-office gross is the number most releases are measured by, a 'per-screen average' (or, the box-office total divided by the number of screens) can be a fairer way of ranking the success of the films as the number of cinemas dipping in and out of the run varies week to week. For example, some fans may not live close to another location if their local cinema opts out for one week. 'Dr. No' suffered the most in terms of its box-office gross as it was played at the fewest number of cinemas. The bigger story here, though, is that 'The Spy Who Loved Me' now beats 'Goldfinger' as although it fell short at the weekend gross, it played on 17 fewer screens, so each individual cinema was (on average) busier for Roger than Sean.
Update: After the soaring budgets and scale of 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and 'Moonraker', Roger's down-to-earth adventures performed poorly, although the camp 80s appeal of 'A View To A Kill' closed out his tenure with a respectful take.
Update: Both of Timothy Dalton's films rise in this ranking as they were shown on fewer screens than some others at the top of the gross box-office chart. Despite blowing out the #1 record for overall take, 'GoldenEye' is beaten here by 'The Spy Who Loved Me' as 'GoldenEye' was shown on 30% more screens, therefore, reducing the impact of its bigger box office. In other words, individual screenings of 'The Spy Who Loved Me' were the busiest.
Update: Brosnan's run ends in disappointment as 'Die Another Day' also lands bottom of the per-screen average chart. Even though cinemas added 30% more screens for Daniel Craig than Pierce Brosnan, the 2006 film 'Casino Royale' still outperformed the per-screen average of any film by a distance. His follow-up, 'Quantum of Solace', middled with its revenue but held the same high screen count, so it slips further down this chart.
Update: Although 'Skyfall' took in the second-highest box office, it did so over more screens than any of the other films, so its average was lower. 'No Time To Die' returned to regular screenings and enjoyed a much higher average, jumping it into the #2 spot. 'SPECTRE' had the emptiest theatres of any of the Craig films, lower than the often derided 'The Man With The Golden Gun'.
|Casino Royale||£ 176|
|No Time To Die||£ 149|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||£ 127|
|The Living Daylights||£ 107|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service||£ 101|
|Licence To Kill||£ 98|
|Dr. No||£ 94|
|Live And Let Die||£ 94|
|From Russia With Love||£ 85|
|You Only Live Twice||£ 84|
|A View To A Kill||£ 82|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||£ 79|
|Quantum of Solace||£ 78|
|The Man With The Golden Gun||£ 78|
|For Your Eyes Only||£ 73|
|The World Is Not Enough||£ 70|
|Diamonds Are Forever||£ 67|
|Die Another Day||£ 63|