Product Placement Powers Bond Franchise

Pass the hat, boys and girls. Those Bond movies don't pay for themselves.

Of course, that begs the question, "Why not?"

Bond star Daniel Craig defended the franchise's decision to shake, not stir, the hero's beverage of choice from martinis to beer - Heineken, to be precise - in the upcoming Bond adventure "Skyfall."

We have relationships with a number of companies so that we can make this movie. The simple fact is that, without them, we couldn’t do it. It’s unfortunate but that’s how it is. He added that "This movie costs a lot of money to make, it costs as nearly as much again if not more to promote, so we go where we can. The great thing is that Bond is a drinker, he always has been, it’s part of who he is, rightly or wrongly, you can make your own judgment about it, having a beer is no bad thing, in the movie it just happens to be Heineken.

Craig could have a second career as a diplomat, but isn't it a shame that one of the most lucrative film franchises in history can't pay its own tab?

Television shows routinely use product placement, and in that medium it actually makes sense. People can quickly skip commercials, leaving such placement opportunities as a necessary way to keep broadcasting free content.

But film is different. Consumers pay a hefty fee for a single ticket, and that should be enough to cover expenses, especially when a film crashes the $100 million mark. Bond films routinely do so ... and then some. 

Indie filmmakers make movies today that look almost as lush as their blockbuster counterparts. But modern movie producers can't seem to crunch the numbers to make a Bond-like film for under $150-200 million. Smarter movie production would solve the problem, but it sounds as if producers would rather sell off some of their creative license to keep operating the same ol' way.

Or, perhaps the film's stars and key talent behind the scenes could take a zero off of their salaries as a way to avoid having to ditch an icon's drink of choice just to make ends meet.


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