Forget James Bond -- 007 has nothing on the kids of Hogwarts. Yahoo scoured through the uber-excellent Box Office Mojo and noted that the Harry Potter series is now the most successful cinematic franchise of all time. The first six adaptations of J.K. Rowling's books have earned a whopping $5.4 billion worldwide, with no inflation adjustments. Meanwhile, the Bond franchise, with its 22 official canon films, are at an estimated $5 billion. (The Casino Royale spoof from the '60s and Never Say Never Again aren't included, but even with them, they're not enough to beat out Harry.) And once the final two films come out, I think it's safe to say that it could be a very long time before something trumps Potter.

The young wizard, however, isn't the top of the US earnings race. If no international box offices are taken into account, Star Wars' six flicks are on top with $1.9 billion to Harry's $1.7 billion. Only .2 billion apart, or $200 million, it's VERY safe to say that Harry Potter will soon rule all box offices. Now to be fair to all the films, both would kick Harry's butt when inflation is included, since both Bond and Star Wars have been around for years (and we're not even including merchandise cash).

But I think Harry's wand is double-pointed when it comes to franchises. It's not only ruling the box offices, but also our notions of franchise quality. Six of the eight have hit screens, and while not all are the same level of quality, they're all pretty darned good. It's proof that a story can continue on and on with solid success if enough effort and attention are put in. Just think what the world would be like if every franchise flick was as good, or better than, the first!