It’s hard to overstate how much of a cultural phenomenon Austin Powers was at the height of its popularity, with the success of Mike Myers’ comedic creation infiltrating almost every aspect of popular culture in the late 1990s.
You could barely turn around without somebody quoting one of the secret agent’s most iconic lines, and that even extended to his arch-nemesis Dr. Evil and henchmen Fat Bastard, also played by Myers. The first installment was a decent-sized hit when it arrived in May 1997, hauling in $67 million at the box office. But the huge buzz and word of mouth saw the sequel The Spy Who Shagged Me enter blockbuster territory.
In fact, the second outing for the shagadelic spy made more money in its domestic opening weekend than Austin Powers managed to earn during its entire theatrical run, eventually topping out with a $312 million haul, almost ten times the production budget. The franchise had become so popular that threequel Goldmember roped in a bevvy of A-list fans for a meta prologue, including Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Steven Spielberg.
There’s been talk of a fourth installment circulating every now and again the eighteen years since the title hero first graced our screens, and it’s felt as though it was close to happening on more than one occasion. But the good news for fans who can’t wait that long is that the entire Austin Powers trilogy is coming to Netflix next month. The trio still holds up as a collection of absurd scatter gun spoofs that deliver jokes, puns, and one-liners at a rapid rate, so the series should be poised to draw in a big audience.