|This essay by Mark Galasiewski originally appeared in
The Elliott Wave Theorist in April 2007.
James Bond Film Ratings
“Popular Culture and the Stock Market” noted that “men are more ‘masculine’ during bull markets, and women more ‘feminine.’” Icons of past bull markets include John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Madonna in the 1980s. In bear markets the sexual stereotypes that these icons represent fall from favor as society embraces a greater variety of gender roles and identities.
The history of the longest-running film franchise to feature a traditionally male character bears this out. The accompanying chart shows the popularity of James Bond films (as surveyed by IMDB.com) against the inflation-adjusted Dow Jones Industrial Average.
(Note: Chart updated from the October 2012 Socionomist)
Ian Fleming created the character of the caddish secret agent in 1952, near the beginning of the postwar bull market, and expanded his popularity through a series of novels. Bond debuted in video in a 1954 U.S. television adaptation of the first novel, Casino Royale. He debuted in film in Dr. No in the United Kingdom in 1962 and in the United States in 1963. His popularity first peaked with the third film in the series, Goldfinger, almost in line with the DJIA in the mid-1960s. The first leg down of the subsequent bear market produced a spoof of the series, also titled Casino Royale (1967). The franchise continued to suffer as the bear market wore on; its ratings bottomed with Never Say Never Again (1983) and A View to A Kill (1985), shortly after the bear market ended in 1982. The popularity of the character returned to favor with the 1980s and 1990s bull market before bottoming again with the stock market in 2002. It reached a new all-time high along with the Dow with 2006’sCasino Royale.
The ratings surge of the most recent film could be a product of the current wave b advance (when sentiment often exceeds that seen at the end of the prior five wave-advance). As long as wave b stays in force, reviews of any new James Bond movies should be relatively favorable; but once the bear market resumes we expect the series to fall from favor again or perhaps to disappear entirely.■
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