Harry Potter or James Bond?

Jason Singer
Mar 23, 2010

 

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">With its midnight bow tonight of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the "Harry Potter" franchise is poised to shake and stir its way past "James Bond" as the top-grossing movie franchise of all-time.

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">The previous five Potter pics have grossed $4.48 billion worldwide. The "James Bond" films have grossed $5 billion (not accounting for inflation). But the boy wizard should enchant global audiences enough in the next two weeks to whiz past Agent 007 by the end of July.

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">Is the "Harry Potter" franchise really better than "James Bond" though?

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">Sure, in terms of dollars and cents, "Harry Potter" has unquestionably been more magical. It will do in six films what it has taken Bond 22 pics to do.

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">But what about in quality?

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">Even as a big "Harry Potter" fan, I would argue "Bond" has been far and away the better franchise — at least thus far. "Bond" gave birth to a film legend: Sean Connery. It has produced three classics: "Goldfinger," "From Russia With Love" and "The Spy Who Loved Me." And 47 years into its lifespan, it continues to evolve in positive ways, as evidence by 2006's stylish revival "Casino Royale."

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">The "Harry Potter" films, on the other hand, have lived off their books' coattails to some extent. The first two films ("Sorcerer's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets"), as directed by Christopher Columbus, were innocuous kids' movies with silly special effects and even sillier, wooden acting. Yet they still grossed $1.8 billion.

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">Although the last three films — "Prisoner of Azkaban," "Goblet of Fire" and "Order of the Phoenix" — have dramatically elevated the franchise's quality, are three good films enough to make it the greatest film franchise ever?

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">Part of it has to do with villains: Goldfinger, Octopussy and SPECTRE — all Bond nemeses — were classics. They're part of bad-guy lore. But in Harry Potter, only Dolores Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton, has been a top-notch adversary. (Staunton, in my opinion, should have been nominated for an Academy Award).

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">Part of it has to do with time too. Will Daniel Radcliffe evolve into a world-renowned star like Connery did?

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">Early reviews say the new film, "Half-Blood Prince," is the franchise's best yet. Maybe it's the classic film the franchise needs. And Maybe Lord Voldemort — with a larger role in this installment— will evolve into the top-notch adversary Harry needs.

But until I see it — and a few more classics from the "Harry Potter" franchise — my vote still goes to the Man with the Golden Gun. For now, Bond is still king of silver screen, regardless of what the dollars and cents say.

 

Comments

Karl Hungus-Mr....

"Is the "Harry Potter" franchise really better than "James Bond" though?"  Do you really need to ask that question........

One has a kid in dorky glasses, the other has a female named Pussy Galore......

Do I need to go on?

Joker

You hit the nail right on the head when you said, "not accounting for inflation."  Loosely accounting for inflation James Bond pwns Harry Potter.  Forty years from now the Harry Potter franchise will be 35 years dead while James Bond will be in its 87th year, continuing to wow fans.  It is highly unfair of you to compare the two franchises.  it's like comparing McDonald's to Qdoba or Coca Cola to Faygo or the New York Times to the Sandusky Register.  James Bond blows anything Harry Potter can come up with out of the water.  Realize that Ian Fleming died 45 years ago and Eon productions is still popping out wildly successful adaptaions.  How many post-JKRowling Harry Potter movies do you think there will be?  I'm guessing zero, and that's being liberal.  Harry is a boy wizard who appeals to children and deluded young adults.  James Bond is the very definition of testosterone and attracts anyone with more than four sperm.  He's the ultimate superman, he's even more super than K'el El.