LOS ANGELES (AP) - In an Oct. 3 story about the James Bond franchise, The Associated Press erroneously reported that all of MGM’s owners booked a loss on $5 billion in loans to the studio backing the franchise. In fact, whether the owners gain or lose in the deal will depend on how much they can reap from their ownership stakes and for how much they obtain the bonds.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Bond movies have beat do-or-die odds for 50 years
Broccoli family behind Bond has fought hard to keep from breaking its `golden egg’
By RYAN NAKASHIMA
AP Business Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Over the last 50 years, the owners of the James Bond movie franchise have had heart-stopping crises as thrilling as the ones that face their fictional secret agent.
They’ve nearly gone bust more than once and have come close to losing all of their rights in court.
But the franchise has survived and thrived under the family of late producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, whose name has graced every official Bond intro since “Dr. No” in 1962.
The son of Italian immigrants was a risk-taker, and his earlier ventures included farming the vegetable bearing the Broccoli name that his uncle brought to America. After years of hustling his way into Hollywood, Broccoli fought for the movie rights to the Ian Fleming novels and passed his faith in the British spy tales to his children.
“Cubby used to say, `This is the goose that laid the golden egg, keep it safe,’ ” said Broccoli’s youngest daughter, Barbara, now the series’ co-producer, in a phone interview from London. “One of the things he said was we’re temporary people making permanent decisions. When you have a franchise, and you’re invested in it as emotionally as we are, you make decisions based on the health of the franchise going forward.”
For five decades, the Broccoli family has held on to its 50 percent stake in the “007” movies, while studio partner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. owns the other half. The series is one of the longest running in history, having made $4.9 billion in ticket sales over 22 films. The 23rd Bond movie, “Skyfall,” is set to premiere Oct. 23 in London.
It’s not like the formula for action, sex and intrigue has always worked perfectly. Some films fell flat, like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” George Lazenby’s infamous one-Bond wonder.
The franchise has occasionally needed new blood to keep it fresh, and there have been six Bonds so far.
For “Skyfall,” the family is making another noticeable change: it cast 31-year-old Ben Whishaw as Bond’s gadget guru, Q. The last two movies did without the longtime sidekick, who had been played by the late Desmond Llewelyn in an epic 16 Bond films.