We’re going to do something different today, instead of a single actor we’ll look at the top secret agents in some of the biggest movies of all time.
Names like James Bond, Ethan Hunt, Jack Ryan or Jason Bourne have become unanimous with the genre, so today we’ll have a head-to-head between these four plus a few others, and see which one comes on top. The rules are simple, we’re dealing with any kind of secret agent here, spies, assassins, you name it, and they need to have at least two movies under their belt. As you’ll probably see in a moment, I’m sure I’ve omitted many names from this list (like Agent 47 or Cody Banks), and I really could have pushed this to a top 10, but I wanted it to be a bit more competitive, so the results can surprise you. Another thing, even if a movie is part of that same series, if the agent we’re talking about is not in it, then it doesn’t qualify (think The Bourne Legacy).
So we’re going to rank the agents (sometimes they can be a team, like Charlie’s Angels, so those three will be considered as one) and to make it fair for everyone we’ll average the total gross of all the movies they’ve been in. The list will contain the name of the agent/spy/assassin, the number and list of movies, their total gross and how much they make on average. Only US numbers today because there’s going to be some inflation adjustment. But first let’s see the top 8 secret agents at the box office, unadjusted for ticket price inflation.
8. James Bond (26 movies) – total: $2.1 billion – average: $82.1 million
What can I say, this guy has been up to no good for half a century now, so blame the placement on inflation. A total of 7 actors played James Bond in 26 movies. Sean Connery was Bond in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever and the non-Eon Never Say Never Again. David Niven was Bond in the 1967 non-Eon film Casino Royale. George Lazenby was Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and then Roger Moore played the spy in Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to a Kill. Timothy Dalton was 007 in The Living Daylights and License to Kill. Pierce Brosnan was Bond in GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Lastly Daniel Craig was in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.
7. Jack Ryan – $497 million – average $99.4 million
The Tom Clancy created character was played by Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears and Chris Pine in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
6. Spy Kids – total: $318.3 million – average: $106.1 million
It’s in the name and they made 4 of these, Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Spy Kids 3D: Game Over and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, only for this list we’re only taking into consideration the first 3 as All the Time in the World is a soft reboot and doesn’t star the original Spy Kids.
5. Charlie’s Angels – total: $226.1 million – average: $113.1 million
Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu played the 3 angels in Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.
4. Austin Powers – total: $473.2 million – average: $157.7 million
Yeah, he is here too. Austin Powers was played by Mike Myers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers in Goldmember.
3. Jason Bourne – total: $525.4 million – average: $175.1 million
We’ve had 5 Bourne movies so far, but only 4 of them feature Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon. Since Jason Bourne opened yesterday ($22.7 million on Friday, looking at a possible $60 million weekend) we’re not going to count it (yet), so included above are only The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.
2. Ethan Hunt – total: $934.9 million – average: $187 million
Tom Cruise was Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
1. Agents J and K (Men in Black) – total: $620.1 million – average: $206.7 million
Agents J and K were played by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black, Men in Black II and MiB 3. I did not expect these two would end up on top, but I’m sure that won’t be the case in the adjusted for ticket price inflation top 8.
So let’s now see what’s different in the top 8 secret agents at the box office, adjusted for ticket price inflation.
8. Spy Kids -total: $460.9 million – average: $153.6 million
7. Charlie’s Angels – total: $345.9 million – average: $173 million
6. Jack Ryan – total: $909.1 million – average: $181.8 million
5. James Bond – total: $5.8 billion – average: $217.7 million
Moving from 8th to 5th, not bad Mr. Bond, not bad. Now obviously if we were to only rank the Daniel Craig movies he’d be much higher, but we’re not doing that today.
4. Jason Bourne – total: $713.4 million – average: $237.8 million
3. Austin Powers – total: $770.8 million – average: $256.9 million
2. Ethan Hunt – $1.3 billion – average $262.5 million
1. Agents J and K (Men in Black) – total: $948.3 million – average: $316.1 million
Guess these two really did exceptionally well for themselves, ultimately winning this top 8 too.
Not that many differences actually, I’m surprised. Well that’s that, now it’s time for me to ask you who’s your all-time favorite among these agents? I’ll have to go with the classic here, James Bond.