I’m in the process of re-doing the statistical portions of the Ultimate James Bond Fan Book. I do several different sets of statistics.

First, and most labor-intensive, I tabulate as many “ranking” lists as I can find. That’s where fans rank all the Bond movies in order. I use this massive amount of data to develop a “master” ranking list. Such lists, though, are only produced by hardcore fans who are really obsessed with that kind of thing. It isn’t going to represent the general public.

So I also look to sources like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and general media surveys (which I’ve pulled out of magazines, news reports, and the like) to get stats on movie ratings (how many “stars” or “thumbs” or whatever), and on people’s #1 Bond film, and on people’s top five.

Top five is interesting, because it shows movies that are consistently very popular but may not hit #1 that often. You can also get a lot more fans to tell you their top five than their full list, so it’s more “general public” and less “geeks (like me).” I assign five points for a #1 position, four points for #2, and so on.

So last night I finished tabulating the Top Five stuff, and Casino Royale got twice as many points as the next nearest contender. That’s like…unbelievable.

Now, I fully believe that’ll moderate a bit over time; newest movies get the strongest reaction. I don’t think, for example, that Die Another Day will stay as low in the rankings as it currently is; it’s that low because people were angry, not because it’s objectively worse than A View to a Kill. But Casino Royale won’t moderate much, and it’s really damn impressive.