The latest James Bond thriller, The World Is Not Enough, is giving MGM a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.
The latest James Bond thriller, The World Is Not Enough, is giving
MGM a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.
The Bond franchise is the studio’s best asset, amounting to nearly
dollars 3 billion in grosses since the first was released in 1962. Also,
World won its opening weekend at the box office with an awe-inspiring
dollars 35.5 million - the largest in Bond history.
While this bodes well for the studio’s fourth-quarter bottom line and
the future of the Bond franchise, MGM is relying on this 19th
installment to bring about a turnaround in the studio’s own fortunes.
This means maintaining the Bond brand and linking the film’s global
appeal to the once roaring MGM lion. As such, each Bond installment is
viewed as a branding opportunity in search of a movie.
Shaking and stirring the franchise, the studio released Bond under the
MGM label for the first time. Bond had always gone under the United
Artists banner, but after recasting UA as an art-house division earlier
this year, MGM chairman Alex Yemenidjian and vice-chairman Chris McGurk
brought the series over to MGM.
’We were left with a great brand that has not been utilized properly,’
said McGurk in a recent interview.
Asked whether World’s high profile makes it more stressful than other
releases, MGM publicity chief Amanda Marashinsky said, ’Bond is
We have to fight off people who want to cover it.’
During Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies, the two previous movies in
which Pierce Brosnan filled Bond’s tuxedo, the star had been featured on
the cover of numerous major national magazines. But with the
increasingly small distance between films - only two years - it has
become harder to get his face on those covers.
Bond girls, however, are another matter. ’They can always get covers,’
Marashinsky said. This meant several magazines (including Detour,
Cosmopolitan and an Elle sub-publication) featuring Denise Richards, the
actress who portrays Dr. Christmas Jones.
Steve Wegner, a PR maven for MGM’s home-video arm, orchestrated a recent
Vanity Fair photo spread that featured Bond women throughout the film’s
37-year history - a coup that will surely aid MGM as it launches
repackaged sets of the Bond films on video and DVD.
MGM has also attempted to reach younger fans for Bond by signing
alternative rockers Garbage to perform World’s title song. This paved
the way for a global promotional campaign with MTV, which subsequently
hyped the film through multiple airings of the music video and
committing 100 hours of programming to the movie.