In a world of spin-off deals and remakes, the James Bond franchise has remained impressively true to itself. Maybe that’s because since their start in the 1960s, 007 installments have been guided largely by one single family: the Broccolis.
The Hustle recently compiled a profile on the unique and lucrative career of Albert “Cubby” Broccoli. In 1961, the independent producer managed to set up quite the deal during studio negotiations for the first Bond film, Dr. No, which funneled roughly 30% of its surprisingly high $59 million box office returns into Cubby’s pockets when it premiered. The piece details many of the hurdles Cubby faced between then and his death in 1996, but long story short: As studios folded and other investment partners tapped out, he remained.
For those curious about where a movie’s box office haul ends up, the profile also includes some helpful breakdowns. The one below illustrates how the $1.1 billion in ticket sales from 2012’s Skyfall is accounted for, much of which is reserved for the Broccoli estate thanks to his smart, savvy and downright lucky negotiations back in the ’60s.
Such a sweet deal was certainly an incentive for Cubby to stick around for 17 franchise films, but his daughter Barbara—who began working on Bond in the ’70s and has since become a prolific producer—says Cubby really just felt at home.
“He just loved being on the set,” she has said. “It was a real family atmosphere and the people on the crew were his friends. So he didn’t see the work as arduous. He found it really stimulating and exciting.”