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The real hidden gem of the Bond series’ financials lies in the marketing sponsorships it generates. Every major brand—Omega watches, Gillette shavers, Belvedere vodka, Heineken beer—wants to be associated with 007’s prestige. Jacques de ****, a marketing consultant and lecturer at the London School of Marketing, estimates that the franchise has earned between $4 billion and $5 billion in marketing sponsorships since 1962’s Dr. No. If we’re working from the high end of that projection, that amounts to roughly $208 million per film. For perspective, Skyfall‘s entire production budget was $200 million. But that sponsorship money is going to the production companies, not the distributor. Still, that means the cost of each film is practically covered, and then some, long before the actual movie arrives in theaters. For that reason, the James Bond series may never end (there was even talk about a small-screen spin-off when Apple and Amazon were vying for the rights). These days, Hollywood is built on repetitive cash flow (i.e., sequels), but unlike the Star Wars or Harry Potter films—which earn more on average picture by picture, but only run for eight or nine installments—Bond is set up to live on ad infinitum.
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