We all know that the movie business is all about globetrotting. From flitting between coasts for premieres to travelling around the world for press junkets and photo ops, there’s a lot of flying involved. But what about the actual production process?
We took a look at the top-grossing film franchises of all time and racked up the air miles involved in every single film, to find out which movie giant really has the biggest carbon footprint. We also looked at the most successful film releases of all time and analysed filming locations to find out which countries can truly call themselves A-list destinations.
We looked at films from some of the biggest franchises of all time:
Between James Bond’s globetrotting, Marvel’s multiverses, supercar roadtrips, journeys on the Death Star and trips to Hogwarts and back… there certainly was a lot of travelling to consider. So, which iconic film franchise has the most miles?
“Oh, I travel - a sort of licenced troubleshooter,” said Sean Connery in Thunderball; and sure enough, Mr Bond certainly does travel. The James Bond franchise has flown the greatest number of miles (208,456), topping the MCU’s 161,032. Despite having to travel to a galaxy far, far away, the Star Wars crew haven’t (yet) racked up the biggest travel footprint, coming in third with 99,928 miles ahead of Fast and the Furious (62,300) and the Harry Potter films (5,149). Adding up the total mileage over the five franchises gives a grand total of 536,865 miles - which is actually just about enough to get to the moon (or maybe Tatooine) and back.
007’s mammoth flight list doesn’t include journeys to filming locations for the upcoming new Bond film No Time to Die, which would increase the tally even more - with locations for Daniel Craig’s final Bond appearance including Jamaica, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Italy. The count - including films spanning five decades of releases - does, however, include places from Tangier to Tuscany, Macau to Monte Carlo and Baku to Bedfordshire. In total, from Dr. No (1963) through to Spectre (2015), the Bond movie machine has visited an incredible 42 different countries all around the world.
Of all the currently released Bond films, 2002’s Die Another Die had the longest travel log, with a whopping 15,768 miles tallied just in a one-way trip between locations. Pierce Brosnan’s swansong as 007 included a trip (west to east) from Hawaii to South Korea, stopping at places including Iceland, Wales, Spain and Norway along the way. The Bond flick with the smallest amount of air travel is 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, famous for being George Lazenby’s one and only outing as 007.
Overall, the Bond location list includes plenty of destinations topping 2022 holiday ideas lists - including Mexico, Hawaii, Turkey, Spain, the Swiss Alps and Greece . Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most common filming location across the Bond universe is England, with Buckinghamshire’s Pinewood Studios even boasting the famous ‘007 Stage’. Locations in the USA have appeared 18 times across the spy capers, while France’s mountains and golden coastlines have featured on a dozen occasions. Adding the carbon emissions for each film together gives a footprint score of 27,325 for the Bond franchise. So, assuming the median offsetting rate of 26.6kg CO2 per tree, the carbon footprint of the James Bond journey would require around 1,027 trees to offset. That’s quite a significant forest - and one that wouldn’t look out of place as a setting for a future Bond chase scene.
You might not think the places James Bond and Harry Potter hang out have a lot in common, but looking at the top five franchises as a whole, a few worldwide locations stick out as particularly big screen-friendly.
51 different countries have appeared across all 76 titles, with some featuring fairly frequently. The top performing franchise countries are England (46 credits), USA (39), Scotland (14), Italy (11) and Switzerland (8). Of these, only England and Scotland appear in all five top franchises.
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The top franchise locations provide some real holiday inspiration for movie buffs, with lots of the most wished-for bucket list destinations - including the Bahamas and Spain - making the top 10 list. Looking for other travel ideas for movie buffs? Try the Maldives, which stood in for Planet Scarif in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Abu Dhabi holidays are another option for cinephiles, since the city has appeared in both the Star Wars and Fast and the Furious franchises.
Book yourself a 2022 holiday and you might just end up an extra in the background of an upcoming blockbuster...