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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE) /June 24, 1998 --Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Inc. was presented with the prestigious "Promotion of the Year" award, one of the highest honors from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA) for its marketing campaign related to Tomorrow Never Dies, the 18th installment in the successful James Bond series.
MGM regains this "Promotion of the Year" award after one year, having initially received the LIMA honor in 1996 for the previous 007 hit GoldenEye. The Bond films are produced by MGM's United Artists Pictures in conjunction with Danjaq, LLC.
The award, part of LIMA's International Awards For Excellence, recognized the film's innovative promotional program that included successful tie-ins with such corporate partners as Avis, BMW, Ericsson, L'Oreal, Omega, Smirnoff, TBS, and Visa.
Accepting the award on MGM's behalf was Karen Sortito, executive vice president, worldwide promotions and corporate sponsorships, whose creative input and promotional expertise were integral to the success and worldwide recognition of both the Tomorrow Never Dies and GoldenEye campaigns.
"The James Bond brand and its unique appeal has always deserved special attention and, as a result, we approach corporate partnering with particular care," said Sortito. "We are especially proud to have earned this distinction again from our peers, a professional group who is eminently qualified to judge such a program's effectiveness."
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) / Jan. 5, 1998 -- Tomorrow Never Dies, the latest James Bond film from the United Artists Pictures unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Danjaq LLC smashed another set of box-office records over the weekend.
Total receipts of more than $207 million in its first 17 days of worldwide release have out-grossed total box-office receipts for 16 previous Bond films prior to the revitalization of the franchise with 1995's GoldenEye, despite a fiercely competitive holiday film market. The film's $92 million domestic receipts mean it should easily break through the $100 million mark by next week, sustaining its reputation as the most successful franchise in film history.
The 18th installment in the series has not only reached its worldwide box office milestones faster than any other James Bond film in history, but more rapidly than any film franchise. Its current receipts represent a 31% improvement worldwide over the comparable playing time for GoldenEye, the previous Bond film record holder.
In addition, as previously reported, box-office results to date do not reflect any contributions from three major markets where Tomorrow Never Dies has not yet opened -- Japan, Latin America and South America.
Tomorrow Never Dies has international grosses to date of $115.1 million and $92.4 million domestically. GoldenEye's total box-office receipts were approximately $350 million, of which $244 million was international and $106 million was domestic.
"The fact that Tomorrow Never Dies could score this well in such a competitive market further underscores the extraordinary vitality of a film franchise that goes back 35 years -- with no signs of stopping," said Lindsay Doran, president of United Artists Pictures.
"These results validate our confidence in the unparalleled asset that is James Bond -- a $3 billion franchise that has been, and remains, the most successful in film history. We're enormously proud that James Bond, 18 installments later, is still setting box-office records throughout the world."
Danjaq is the production company co-founded by the late Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli. Danjaq has produced 18 James Bond motion pictures since 1962.
By Greg Frost
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) / (Dec. 24, 1997) - Bond. James Bond.
He is arguably the best-known character in motion picture history -- a suave superspy with a license to kill whose cinematic exploits have been watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide.
Since novelist Ian Fleming introduced him in 1953, fascination with Bond has never waned and, for some fans, verges on obsession.
Hundreds of Internet sites pay homage to Agent 007. Bond videogames, cigarette lighters and toy cars rake in millions of dollars each year. A university on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts is said to offer no fewer than 11 courses about Bond.
But the Bond phenomenon, while remarkable, also is puzzling after nearly 45 years. Why, for instance, is society so absorbed with a character who changes so little from film to film? Why do moviegoers pay to see adventures that follow a set, static formula? And why do Bond's hallmarks -- carefree sex and gratuitous violence -- still appeal to film audiences amid the austere ethics of the 1990s?
These questions take on extra meaning as millions flock to see Pierce Brosnan reprise the role in Tomorrow Never Dies, the 19th film in the series that began when Sean Connery starred in Dr. No in 1962.
Bond appears ready to live for some time. That means more gadgets, more stunts, more sultry women, more exotic locales, more gambling and more evil geniuses who, for all their cunning, never seem capable of killing Bond once they capture him.
For many fans, Bond's appeal lies in his role as a handsome, potent sex machine.
"James Bond is a sexual superman," said Linda Barbanel, a New York City psychotherapist and author of the book Sex Power & Money.
"He is perpetually young, virile, potent. ... You don't find guys that look like James Bond that often," Barbanel said. "Men especially would like to be him. He continues to entice and excite."
Just in case there were any doubts over whether sexuality is a major part of his success, consider that Bond has slept with nearly 50 women in his outings on the big screen. Connery, who bedded 21 women in his seven Bond films, analyzed the agent's virility in a 1965 interview with Playboy magazine.
"Bond, you see, is a kind of present-day survival kit. Men would like to imitate him -- or at least his success -- and women are excited by him," Connery told Playboy.
Even in today's age of heightened awareness of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, 007 has shown few signs of restraining his rampant libido. The most recent films have Brosnan keeping up with the formidable pace set by Connery and Roger Moore, who had trysts with 18 women in his 7 stints as Bond between 1973 and 1987.
All this is not to say that Bond's behavior has gone unchallenged. Bond's boss, M, now played by Judi Dench, chided her employee in 1995's GoldenEye as "a sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War."
That hardly set back Bond, who romanced 3 women in the film.
Fleming, a former Reuters correspondent who wrote 14 books featuring the superspy, explained Bond's charm this way: "He's what every man would like to be but knows he damn well can't be."
Fleming pictured Bond as a rogue, a high-stakes gambler who just happens to be in a position of power that has him battling evildoers bent on conquering the world or triggering nuclear apocalypse.
Vamik Volkan, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia who specializes in cultural and international issues, says Bond's allure lies partly in his control over his own destiny and those of others.
"He can kill, and he is forgiven. At the same time, he can have all these beautiful women and drop them whenever he wants to. So it's a power principle," Volkan says.
Helping boost 007's power trip are the eye-popping gadgets supplied by Q, the crotchety master armorer played by Desmond Llewellyn in 16 Bond films. The high-tech toys -- a laser watch, an Aston Martin sports car with an ejector seat and a ballpoint pen that doubles as a hand grenade, to name just a few -- also are a big part of Bond's attraction.
"The high-tech stuff is very important also because it's high-performance, it's very phallic," Barbanel said. "Men like high-performing machinery, and women do, too."
Certainly for many Americans, Bond brings back memories of John F. Kennedy, the youthful president who made no secret of his passion for Fleming's books.
"Bond was a cultural figure associated with a young president dealing with the Soviets," Volkan said. "So he became psychologically an outlet for our anxiety over bombs and missiles and devious people. As for why he's still out there, I don't know. I suppose parents passed this cultural figure down from generation to generation."
In the end, maybe people like Bond just because he is our own version of a heroic myth.
"Think about Bond as an Odysseus of our century," media consultant Alan Caruba said. "He's just simply a re-creation of all the great heroes of ancient myths."
By Bob Tourtellotte
HOLLYWOOD (Reuters) / (Dec. 16, 1997) - Sean Connery may have been James Bond. But Pierce Brosnan is Bond now.
A caring, sharing Bond. A Bond who doesn't hit women. A sometimes introspective Bond. A Bond for the 1990s. Get used to it, baby. He's "The Bomb" -- teen talk for a hit -- and he's busy creating new audiences for an old guy who could have come in from the cold a long time ago.
Many movie fans and Bond purists consider Connery, the first to play the fictional, debonair spy onscreen in the 1960s and a long-time sex symbol, to be the one and only 007. Never mind Roger Moore's 7 Bond movies in the '70s and '80s. Don't even mention George Lazenby or Timothy Dalton.
The 44-year-old, Irish-born Brosnan -- dark-haired, dashing and handsome -- is back for only his 2nd turn as the British agent in Tomorrow Never Dies, opening Dec. 19. But plans are already in the works for a 3rd and critics are raving about how well he has taken over the role. He's accustomed to Bond's slicked-up cars and dressed-down women. He is suave, humorous, intelligent and tough. He always gets the bad guy and walks away with the girl -- he is, after all, still James Bond.
The only off-key note is that instead of drinking martinis that are stirred not shaken, he drinks vodka neat and not an expensive brand at that. "I think there was a certain ease with it," Brosnan said about this second time in the super spy's tuxedo. "I didn't have to prove to anyone I could do this role."
In 1995's GoldenEye, which grossed $350 million worldwide, Brosnan came under mild criticism for appearing stiff at times, and the movie suffered a few cracks about Bond's attempts at introspection.
Not so with Tomorrow Never Dies. With a production cost of $100 million, the movie is pure action. It opens with Bond busting a ring of arms traffickers selling nuclear warheads and ends in an all-out battle to sink a cruise missile-carrying stealth ship.
Bond is out to stop a maniacal media baron, played by Jonathan Pryce, whose background as a star of the theater (Miss Saigon) lends his villain a bigger-than-big presence onscreen.
The baron, Elliot Carver, seeks world domination by manipulating the information he spreads through his web of newspapers, magazines and satellite television -- reasons enough to be unpopular these days.
Bond is joined in his pursuit by a Chinese spy, a woman named Wai Lin. She is portrayed by Michelle Yeoh, a superstar of Hong Kong action movies.
Then, there is 007's interest in Carver's sexy wife, Paris (played by Teri Hatcher of TV's "Lois and Clark"). She is Bond's ex-lover who defies Carver to return to Bond's bed.
Brosnan's Bond doesn't manhandle Paris, however. He shows feeling for his old love, respects her, cares for her, showing all the sensibilities suitable for the 1990s.
In fact Michael Wilson, who co-produced Tomorrow Never Dies and has been involved in Bond pictures since 1972, says Brosnan has opened an entirely new audience for Bond movies.
"Women over 25 find him very attractive and, surprisingly, that is one of our stronger (movie-going) groups," he said. "As you work with him, you start to realize he has the ability to show vulnerability without showing weakness."
Brosnan is here to stay. No more George Lazenbys (a one-timer On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969) or Timothy Daltons (twice, The Living Daylights 1987 and Licence to Kill 1989) for the foreseeable future at least.
Moore's stint as Bond is over, and talk that Connery should reprise Bond one last time -- as has been rumored in trade paper Daily Variety -- should fade, too. Connery himself doesn't even like to discuss Bond.
When he first agreed to take on the role of Bond, Brosnan said "I knew the role was going to be with me for the rest of my life."
Then, he adds, with a smile of confidence and a dash of charm, "It's do-able."
Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan. He is James Bond.
By Richard Lorant
BOSTON (AP) / Dec. 3, 1997 -- James Bond is everywhere. There's 007 outrunning bad guys on his BMW motorcycle, sipping a Smirnoff vodka martini (shaken, not stirred), making a call on his Ericsson cell phone.
What about his new movie? It won't be out for another 2 weeks. But products that have cameo roles in Tomorrow Never Dies are already being heavily advertised in an all-out license to sell.
The strategy, while not new, seems to reach new extremes with the Bond movie. Agreements with eight "promotional partners" got the film $100 million worth of publicity before MGM had spent a dime on marketing.
And the manufacturers are happy because they get to turn the suave, debonair man of intrigue into a human billboard, making it hard to tell where the advertising ends and the movie hype begins.
MGM executive vice president Karen Sortito bristled at the suggestion that the deal is somehow unusual.
"You need to put products in movies to make them realistic. Why shouldn't we get something out of it?" she said. "This is a guy who's been picking up gadgets and getting in cool cars for decades. Do they really want us to scratch out the logos?"
Indeed, placing products in Hollywood movies has evolved into a fine art since 1982, when an unpaid appearance by Reese's Pieces in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was followed by an increase in sales of the candy.
Getting companies to pay for shots featuring their products now routinely helps studios defray marketing costs, which have skyrocketed to between $15 million and $50 million a movie.
"Everyone today in the entertainment business is trying to figure out how to leverage their marketing budgets because it's becoming so expensive," said Al Lieberman, director of New York University's entertainment and media program.
Tomorrow Never Dies could use some leverage. It cost $100 million to produce and is being released Dec. 19, right in the heart of the crowded Christmas movie season.
In addition to BMW, Ericsson and Omega, MGM approved Bond ad campaigns for Smirnoff vodka, Heineken beer, Avis rental cars, Visa credit cards and L'Oreal cosmetics.
"James Bond uses his Ericsson for all his close calls," reads the kicker on one full-page newspaper that shows a movie still of actor Pierce Brosnan on a cellular phone.
In a Smirnoff magazine ad, twists of lemon floating in a martini spell out "007." The ads highlight a long-standing penchant for vodka martinis that goes back to Bond No. 1, Sean Connery.
On television, the familiar Bond guitar riff plays over a chase scene from the movie as an off-screen announcer warns viewers not to try the stunt at home. The product: the BMW Cruiser motorcycle Bond is riding.
BMW returned to the Bond franchise after successfully using the previous Bond film, GoldenEye, to help launch its Z3 Roadster.
"About 10,000 pre-orders were directly attributable to the film," said Jack Pitney, a company spokesman. "It was by any measure a smash success."
Like other partners, BMW did not pay the studio a placement fee, but agreed to promote the movie in its ads. In all, MGM got $48 million worth of movie promotions in the United States and $52 million overseas before launching its own multimillion-dollar "direct" campaign, Sortito said. In turn, the products hitch their wagons to the movie in an attempt to profit from what the industry calls a "halo effect."
What if Tomorrow Never Dies dies at the box office?
Said Boston University communications professor Tobe Berkovitz: "If the movie turns out to be late-night TV fodder, then you get a loser halo."
By Paul Majendie
LONDON (Reuters) / (November 25, 1997) - James Bond is set to vanquish the villains with his mobile phone.
He doesn't just use the phone to ring M's secretary, Miss Moneypenny, in Tomorrow Never Dies, the latest screen adventure of the world's most famous and enduring secret agent.
Bond's new superphone also blows up safes, opens doors, sees around corners and drives his car -- all by remote control.
Actor Pierce Brosnan, now making his second Bond film after GoldenEye, has calculated that nearly a third of the budget for the latest 007 spectacular is coming from product placement deals.
Among the leading brands is Swedish communications giant Ericsson, whose "concept phone" is one of the stars of the new film set to open Dec. 12.
The company is backing its film deal with a $3.4 million "Codebreaker" contest. The top prize will be an Aston Martin sports car -- as driven by Bond in the film.
"Bond has global appeal, which is important to the company," a spokeswoman for Ericsson said Tuesday.
"They are very happy with the deal. They felt there is a lot of synergy as Bond is technologically advanced, stylish and one step ahead of the competition," she added.
Desmond Llewelyn, playing Bond's quartermaster Q for the 16th time at the age of 83, says of the gadget-packed phone: "It does practically everything apart from talk and is the main gadget in the movie.
"Every Bond movie must have fantasy, and the gadgets help with that. As soon as you make the films too real, they get into trouble."
Bond, the epitome of English elegance, had some distinctly European touches added to him for GoldenEye with a German sports car, Italian suits and a Swiss watch.
But Brosnan, shaken but not stirred by the commercial takeover of the movie icon, assured reporters that both his shoes and underwear were made in Britain.
From The Express [London] (10 Dec 1997)
James Bond's suave reputation, I fear, is set to be irredeemably damaged in Denmark. In an early scene in Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond is seen enjoying the voluptuous charms of a stunning Scandinavian languages professor, played by Danish model Cecilie Thomsen.
After being summoned back to headquarters, 007 breaks off his extra curricular activities by whispering "Goodbye my love" in Thomsen's native language. At least, that's what the subtitles say. Instead, thanks to Pierce Brosnan's strangulated accent, he actually says: "Goodbye my old fishing boat."
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