Meanwhile, Connery ranks second behind Craig in average global box office, after adjusting to 2020 dollars. Craig’s movies average $924.9 million, while Connery’s average $776.1 million. Roger Moore comes in third at $601.8 million.

Craig’s movies have Connery in part to thank for the popularity of the character. When Connery debuted as Bond in Dr. No in 1962, Bond wasn’t close to the household name he’d become after Connery left the franchise:

Connery appeared in three of the five Bond films that grossed more than $800 million, adjusting for inflation. (Craig acted in the other two—Skyfall in 2012, and Spectre in 2015. No Time to Die would have been a near certainty to gross at least that much at the global box office, had the pandemic not upended its release.)

Craig might have the narrow box-office edge, but given the advantages his movies had over Connery’s, the latter’s performance might actually be the most impressive. Given that he was also the clear winner in terms of critical acclaim, we’re inclined to anoint Sean Connery as the greatest James Bond of all time. In this case, the conventional wisdom is indeed wise.

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