The James Bond film series are British spy films inspired by Ian Fleming's novels about the fictional MI6 agent James Bond (codename 007). The franchise remains as one of the longest continually running film series in history, having been in ongoing production from 1962 to 2008 with a six-year hiatus between 1989 and 1995. In that time EON Productions has produced 22 films, at an average of about one every two years. In addition, there are two independent productions and an American television adaptation of the first novel. Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman co-produced the EON films until 1975, when Broccoli remained the sole producer. Since 1995, Broccoli's daughter Barbara and stepson Michael G. Wilson have co-produced them. Six actors have portrayed 007 so far.
Broccoli's and Saltzman's family company, Danjaq, has held ownership of the James Bond film series through Eon, and maintained co-ownership with United Artists since the mid-1970s. From the release of Dr. No (1962) up to For Your Eyes Only (1981), the films were distributed solely by UA. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought UA in 1981, MGM/UA Entertainment Co. was formed and distributed the films until 1995. MGM solely distributed three films from 1997 to 2002 after UA retired as a mainstream studio. From 2006 to 2008, MGM and Columbia Pictures co-distributed the franchise, as Columbia's parent company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, bought MGM in 2005. MGM will distribute the series alone once more. The twenty-two Bond films have grossed nearly $5 billion in the worldwide box office, being the most profitable film series ever.