The Bond movie franchise is among the most successful of all time, grossing $7.87 million across 27 movies and seven different Bond actors. Only four movie franchises have Bond beaten: Harry Potter and the Wizarding World, Star Wars, Spider-Man and the MCU.
Additionally, James Bond is one of the oldest movie franchises, spanning 61 years, and it may go on further as the search for a new Bond continues. With such a wealth of Bond movies and actors, which ones can be considered the most popular and successful?
Our slots experts have decided to answer those very questions and crown the most iconic Bond, once and for all. We’ve researched which Bond actors are the most searched for, who have the most awards for playing Bond and who served the longest. We’ve also looked at which Bond movies are the most searched for, earned the most at the box office, have won the most awards and have the highest ratings.
The Best Bond Actors
1. Sean Connery
Overall Score: 8.3/10
The actor who started it all ranks as the most iconic and successful Bond actor of all time, with an overall score of 8.3 out of ten. Sean Connery was the most Googled Bond actor and has appeared in the joint-most Bond movies in total, beginning in 1962 and ending in 1983. He has also earned the third-most awards amongst Bond actors, with two awards across the seven movie appearances.
2. Daniel Craig
Overall Score: 7.8/10
Daniel Craig, the most recent iteration of the character James Bond, is the second-best Bond actor of all time, scoring 7.8 out of ten. Craig was the third-most Googled Bond actor and has appeared in the second-highest number of Bond movies, with a total of five. He also earned the most awards for his portrayal of James Bond, winning seven during his term as the British spy.
3. Pierce Brosnan
Overall Score: 7.2/10
The actor who preceded Daniel Craig comes in third place, Pierce Brosnan scoring 7.2 out of ten overall as a Bond actor. Brosnan came in as the second-most Googled Bond actor worldwide and won the second-highest number of awards for his portrayal of Bond. He also featured in the third-highest number of Bond movies, appearing in four total.
The Most Popular Bond Actor
1. Sean Connery
Number of Google searches: 481,800
Sean Connery, the original Bond who started the franchise in 1962, has emerged as the most beloved Bond actor. Over the last 12 months, “Sean Connery James Bond” has received almost half a million searches on Google worldwide.
2. Pierce Brosnan
Number of Google searches: 415,500
The second-most famous Bond actor is Pierce Brosnan, the sixth iteration of the James Bond character who also featured in many of the James Bond video games. From September 2022 to August 2023, “Pierce Brosnan James Bond” has had over 400,000 global searches on Google.
3. Daniel Craig
Number of Google searches: 379,900
And rounding out the top three most popular Bond actors, we have Daniel Craig, the most recent actor to assume the role of James Bond. Over the last 12 months, “Daniel Craig James Bond” has received just under 400,000 Google searches from around the world.
The Bond Actor with the Most Awards Won
1. Daniel Craig
Awards for Bond Movies: 7
Daniel Craig, the third-most-popular Bond, has also received the most awards for his portrayal of the James Bond character. Four awards came from Craig’s first Bond movie, Casino Royale (2006), including the Evening Standard British Film Awards Best Actor and Empire Awards UK Best Actor. For Skyfall, Craig was awarded the Critics Choice Award for Best Actor in an Action Movie, and he then won the same award for No Time to Die in 2022.
2. Pierce Brosnan
Awards for Bond Movies: 3
Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig’s predecessor for the role of James Bond, won the second-most awards for his portrayal. Brosnan’s first award win for his portrayal of James Bond came from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Actor in 1998 for Tomorrow Never Dies. His other two awards were for his role in The World is Not Enough in 1999.
3. Sean Connery
Awards for Bond Movies: 2
The actor with the third-most awards for their portrayal of James Bond is Sean Connery, the most popular Bond actor. Assuming the role in 1962, Connery didn’t win an award for his work as Bond until 1966 when he won the Laurel Awards Action Performace award for Thunderball. He then won his second award posthumously in 2021 from the Online Film & Television Association for Dr. No.
Actors that have been in the Most Bond Movies
1. Roger Moore
Number of Bond Movies: 7
Roger Moore was in the joint-most number of Bond movies, a total of 7 movies over a decade. His Bond term began in 1973 with Live and Let Die and ended in 1983 with Octopussy.
1. Sean Connery
Number of Bond Movies: 7
Sean Connery, the original James Bond, also starred in 7 movies during his term as Bond. His first movie was in 1962, titled Dr. No, and his final movie was in 1983, just after Roger Moore’s term, and the movie was titled Never Say Never Again. Connery’s term was somewhat disjointed, as he intended to leave the role much earlier, but David Niven and George Lazenby didn’t last long as Bond.
3. Daniel Craig
Number of Bond Movies: 5
Daniel Craig, the most recent actor to have played Bond, has the second most movies as the iconic character. The vacancy was filled by Daniel Craig in 2006 with Casino Royale and ended relatively recently with No Time to Die in 2021.
4. Pierce Brosnan
Number of Bond Movies: 4
Pierce Brosnan, the actor who came before Daniel Craig, featured in four James Bond movies. He began his term in 1995 with GoldenEye and ended it with Die Another Day in 2002.
The Most Successful Bond Movies
Overall Score: 9.6/10
Skyfall is the most successful Bond movie of all time, scoring 9.6 out of ten across all the factors we looked at. Skyfall is the all-time top-grossing Bond movie and the only one to surpass $1 billion worldwide gross at the box office. It is also the Bond movie with the most awards by far, with 69 in total. It was also the third-highest-rated Bond movie on Metacritic, scoring 81 out of 100.
2. No Time to Die
Overall Score: 9.1/10
No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond, is the second-most successful Bond movie of all time, scoring 9.1 out of ten. No Time to Die was the most Googled Bond movie over the last 12 months. It also has the third-highest worldwide box office earnings and the second-most award wins amongst Bond movies.
Overall Score: 8.1/10
And finishing off the top three most successful Bond movies, we have Spectre, another movie from Daniel Craig’s term. Across all the factors we looked at, Spectre scored 8.1 out of ten overall. Spectre had the second-highest earnings at the worldwide box office amongst Bond movies, and the fourth-highest Google searches and awards won.
The Most Popular Bond Movies
1. No Time to Die
Number of Google searches: 6,191,000
No Time to Die, the most recent movie in the Bond franchise, has the most Google searches in the last 12 months. Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond has been Googled a total of 6.2 million times, making it the most famous Bond movie.
Number of Google searches: 5,500,000
Coming in as the second most popular Bond movie, we have Thunderball, the 1965 movie starring Sean Connery for the fourth time as Bond. Over the last 12 months, Thunderball has been Googled a total of 5.5 million times.
Number of Google searches: 4,163,000
And rounding out the top three most popular Bond movies, we have Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s third appearance as James Bond. Between September 2022 and August 2023, the movie was Googled over 4.1 million times.
The Highest-earning Bond Movies
Worldwide Box Office Earnings: $1,110,526,981
Skyfall, the third most popular Bond movie and Daniel Craig’s third appearance as the character is also the highest-grossing Bond movie ever. Skyfall's worldwide box office earnings are at more than $1.1 billion.
Worldwide Box Office Earnings: $879,077,344
The next highest-grossing Bond movie of all time is Spectre, Daniel Craig’s penultimate movie as the British spy. The movie earned more than $879 million at the worldwide box office.
3. No Time to Die
Worldwide Box Office Earnings: $759,959,662
And the most recent appearance Daniel Craig had as James Bond rounds out the top three for highest-grossing Bond movies. At the worldwide box office, No Time to Die accumulated more than $759 million.
Bond Movies with the Most Awards Won
Awards Won: 69
The Bond movie with the most awards won is Daniel Craig’s Skyfall, which won a total of 69 awards from 123 nominations. Amongst those awards, Skyfall won two Oscars, one for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures and one for Best Achievement in Sound Editing.
2. No Time to Die
Awards Won: 42
No Time to Die, another Daniel Craig movie, has the second-most award wins with a total of 42 from 75 total nominations. No Time to Die also won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, the same Oscar that Skyfall won. It also won a BAFTA award for Best Editing, a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award, for Best Song.
3. Casino Royale (2006)
Awards Won: 28
And finishing off the top three, we have yet another Daniel Craig movie, Casino Royale, which won 28 awards from 44 nominations. The movie won a BAFTA award for Best Sound, the Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films and an Empire Award for Best Film.
The Highest-rated Bond Movie
Metacritic Metascore: 87
The highest-rated Bond movie, according to the critic reviews at Metacritic, is Goldfinger, Sean Connery’s third movie as James Bond, which scored a Metascore of 87 out of 100.
2. From Russia with Love
Metacritic Metascore: 83
Another Sean Connery movie ranks in the top three for highest-rated Bond movies, this time his second outing as Bond, From Russia with Love. The critics at Metacritic have scored this movie at 83 out of 100.
Metacritic Metascore: 81
And coming in as the third-highest-rated Bond movie of all time, we have Skyfall, the highest-grossing Bond movie of all time. Daniel Craig’s third Bond movie was scored at 81 out of 100 by the critic reviews at Metacritic.
To begin, we made a list of all the Bond movie actors, using MI6 The Home of James Bond, and the movies they starred in, using Wikipedia.
We then used Google Keyword Planner to get the number of worldwide Google searches for each Bond actor, using the search term “Sean Connery James Bond” (replacing Sean Connery with each actor's name) and taking the total number of global searches for September 2022 to August 2023.
We then used IMDb to get the number of awards each actor won for their roles in the respective Bond movies they starred in.
We added the total number of Bond movies each Bond actor had starred in to find out the actor that had played Bond the most. We also took the number of awards that each Bond movie won to further gauge which movie was the most successful.
Using Google Keyword Planner, we searched each Bond movie titled to get their total global search volume between September 2022 and August 2023. For the two Casino Royale, we added the year they were released to the search term.
Using The Numbers, we took each movie's total worldwide box office earnings (in USD) and then ranked each movie on this figure.
We then used Metacritic to get the Metascore (out of 100) for each Bond movie, a score based on critic reviews, not consumer ratings, on 20th September 2023.
We then ranked the actors and movies separately on all factors, giving them a normalised score out of ten to find out the best Bond actor and the most successful Bond movie.