The Highest-Grossing Film Directors

by 99Tfl | created - 3 months ago | updated - 12 hours ago | Public

1. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

The Sugarland Express-$12.8 million Jaws-$470.7 million Close Encounters of the Third Kind-$306.9 million 1941-$94.9 million Raiders of the Lost Ark-$389.9 million E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial-$792.9 million Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-$333.1 million The Colour Purple-$142 million Empire of the Sun-$66.7 million Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade-$474.2 million Always-$74.1 million Hook-$300.9 million Jurassic Park-$1.03 billion Schindler's List-$322.1 million The Lost World: Jurassic Park-$618.6 million Amistad-$44.2 million Saving Private Ryan-$481.8 million A.I. Artificial Intelligence-$235.9 million Minority Report-$358.4 million Catch Me If You Can-$352.1 million The Terminal-$219.4 million War of the Worlds-$591.7 million Munich-$130.4 million Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-$786.6 million The Adventures of Tintin: Secrets of the Unicorn-$374 million War Horse-$177.6 million Lincoln-$275.3 million Bridge of Spies-$165.5 million The BFG-$183.3 million The Post-$179.8 million Ready Player One-$582.9 million

Total: $10.569 billion

2. Anthony Russo

Director | Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Anthony Russo was born on February 3, 1970 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Anthony J. Russo. He is a producer and director, known for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Captain America: Civil War (2016).

(Also representing his brother Joe)

Welcome to Collinwood-$4.6 million You, Me and Dupree-$130.4 million Captain America: The Winter Soldier-$714.3 million Captain America: Civil War-$1.153 billion Avengers: Infinity War-$2.048 billion Avengers: Endgame-$2.623 billion

Total: $6.673 billion

3. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

Bad Taste-$0.15 million Meet The Feebles-$0.08 million Braindead-$0.24 million Heavenly Creatures-$5.4 million The Frighteners-$29.4 million The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring-$887.2 million The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers-$934.7 million The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King-$1.141 billion King Kong-$550.5 million The Lovely Bones-$94.9 million The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey-$1.021 billion The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug-$960.4 million The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies-$956 million They Shall Not Grow Old-$19.9 million

Total: $6.581 billion

4. Michael Bay

Producer | Armageddon

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and Divinyls. His work won...

Bad Boys-$141.4 million The Rock-$335.1 million Armageddon-$554 million Pearl Harbor-$449.2 million Bad Boys 2-$273.3 million The Island-$163 million Transformers-$710 million Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen-$836.3 million Transformers: Dark of the Moon-$1.124 billion Pain and Gain-$86.2 million Transformers: Age of Extinction-$1.104 billion 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi-$69.4 million Transformers: The Last Knight-$605.4 million

Total: $6.452 billion

5. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

The Terminator-$78.4 million Aliens-$183.3 million The Abyss-$90 million Terminator 2: Judgement Day-$523.7 million True Lies-$378.9 million Titanic-$2.187 billion Ghosts of the Abyss-$28.8 million Avatar-$2.788 billion

Total: $6.258 billion

6. David Yates

Director | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

David Yates was born on October 8, 1963 in St. Helens, Merseyside, England. He is a director and producer, known for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), The Legend of Tarzan (2016) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007).

The Tichbore Claimant-$N/A Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix-$940 million Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince-$934.5 million Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1-$960.4 million Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2-$1.342 billion The Legend of Tarzan-$356.7 million Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them-$814 million Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald-$653.7 million

Total: $6.001 billion

7. Christopher Nolan

Writer | The Prestige

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear, storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.


Following-$0.24 million Memento-$39.7 million Insomnia-$113.7 million Batman Begins-$375.2 million The Prestige-$109.7 million The Dark Knight-$1.005 billion Inception-$825.5 billion The Dark Knight Rises-$1.085 billion Interstellar-$677.5 million Dunkirk-$526.9 million

Total: $4.758 billion

8. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure-$40.9 million Beetlejuice-$74.2 million Batman-$411.5 million Edward Scissorhands-$86 million Batman Returns-$266.9 million Ed Wood-$5.9 million Mars Attacks!-$101.4 million Sleepy Hollow-$207.1 million Planet of the Apes-$362.2 million Big Fish-$122.9 million Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-$475 million Corpse Bride-$117.2 million Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street-$152.5 million Alice in Wonderland-$1.026 billion Dark Shadows-$245.5 million Frankenweenie-$81.5 million Big Eyes-$29.3 million Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children-$296.5 million Dumbo-$347.1 million

Total: $4.45 billion

9. Ron Howard

Actor | Arrested Development

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Apollo 13 (1995) to the hit comedies Parenthood (1989) and Splash (1984), he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films.

Howard ...

Grand Theft Auto-$15 million Night Shift-$21 million Splash-$69.8 million Cocoon-$85.3 million Gung Ho-$36.6 million Willow-$57.3 million Parenthood-$126.3 million Backdraft-$152.4 million Far and Away-$137.8 million The Paper-$48.4 million Apollo 13-$355.2 million Ransom-$309.5 million EDtv-$35.3 million How the Grinch Stole Christmas-$345.1 million A Beautiful Mind-$317.7 million The Missing-$38.4 million Cinderella Man-$108.5 million The Da Vinci Code-$767.8 million Frost/Nixon-$28.5 million Angels and Demons-$490.9 million The Dilemma-$70.5 million Rush-$98.2 million In The Heart Of The Sea-$93.9 million The Beatles: Eight Days A Week-$12.3 million Inferno-$220 million Solo: A Star Wars Story-$393.2 million

Total: $4.435 billion

10. Robert Zemeckis

Writer | Back to the Future

A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect ...

I Wanna Hold Your Hans-$1.9 million Used Cars-$11.7 million Romancing the Stone-$86.6 million Back to the Future-$389.1 million Who Framed Roger Rabbit-$351.5 million Back to the Future Part II-$332 million Back to the Future Part III-$244.5 million Death Becomes Her-$149 million Forrest Gump-$679.9 million Contact-$171.1 million What Lies Beneath-$291.4 million Cast Away-$429.6 million The Polar Express-$311.4 million Beowulf-$196.4 million A Christmas Carol-$325.3 million Flight-$161.8 million The Walk-$61.2 million Allied-$119.5 million Welcome to Marwen-$12.9 million

Total: $4.327 billion

11. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

The Duellists-$N/A Alien-$203.6 million Blade Runner-$33.8 million Legend-$23.5 million Someone to Watch Over Me-$10.3 million Black Rain-$134.2 million Thelma and Louise-$45.4 million 1492: Conquest of Paradise-$59 million White Squall-$10.2 million G.I. Jane-$97.2 million Gladiator-$460.6 million Hannibal-$351.7 million Black Hawk Down-$173 million Matchstick Men-$65.6 million Kingdom of Heaven-$211.7 million A Good Year-$42 million American Gangster-$266.5 million Body of Lies-$115.9 million Robin Hood-$321.7 million Prometheus-$403.4 million The Counselor-$71 million Exodus: Gods and Kings-$268.1 million The Martian-$630.2 million Alien: Covenant-$240.9 million All The Money In The World-$57 million

Total: $4.297 billion

12. Chris Columbus

Producer | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Ohio, Chris Columbus was first inspired to make movies after seeing "The Godfather" at age 15. After enrolling at NYU film school, he sold his first screenplay (never produced) while a sophomore there. After graduation Columbus tried to sell his fourth script, "...

Adventures in Babysitting-$34.4 million Heartbreak Hotel-$5.5 million Home Alone-$476.7 million Only the Lonely-$25.1 million Home Alone 2: Lost In New York-$359 million Mrs. Doubtfire-$441.3 million Nine Months-$138.5 million Stepmom-$159.7 million Bicentennial Man-$87.4 million Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone-$975 million Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets-$879.2 million Rent-$31.7 million I Love You, Beth Cooper-$15.8 million Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief-$226.5 million Pixels-$244.9 million

Total-$4.101 billion

13. Roland Emmerich

Writer | Independence Day

Roland Emmerich is a German film director and producer of blockbuster films like The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Godzilla (1998), Independence Day (1996) and The Patriot (2000). Before fame, he originally wanted to be a production designer, but decided to be a director, after watching the original ...

The Noah's Ark Principle-$N/A Joey-$N/A Hollywood-Monster-$N/A Moon 44-$N/A Universal Soldier-$36.3 million Stargate-$196.6 million Independence Day-$817.4 million Godzilla-$379 million The Patriot-$215.3 million The Day After Tomorrow-$544.3 million 10,000 BC-$269.8 million 2012-$769.7 million Anonymous-$15.4 million White House Down-$205.4 million Stonewall-$0.29 million Independence Day: Resurgence-$389.7 million

Total: $3.839 billion

14. Gore Verbinski

Director | Rango

Gore Verbinski, one of American cinema's most inventive directors who was a punk-rock guitarist as a teenager and had to sell his guitar to buy his first camera, is now the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) which made the industry record for highest opening weekend of ...

Mouse Hunt-$122.4 million The Mexican-$147.8 million The Ring-$249.3 million Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl-$654.3 million The Weather Man-$19 million Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest-$1.066 billion Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End-$963.4 million Rango-$245.7 million The Lone Ranger-$260.5 million A Cure for Wellness-$26.6 million

Total: $3.755 billion

15. Bryan Singer

Director | X-Men

Bryan Singer was born on September 17, 1965 in New York City, New York, USA as Bryan Jay Singer. He is a producer and director, known for X-Men (2000), The Usual Suspects (1995) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).

Public Access-N/A The Usual Suspects-$34.4 million Apt Pupil-$8.9 million X-Men-$296.9 million X2: X-Men United-$407.7 million Superman Returns-$391.1 million Valkyrie-$200.3 million Jack the Giant Slayer-$197.7 million X-Men: Days of Future Past-$747.9 million X-Men: Apocalypse-$543.9 million Bohemian Rhapsody-$902.6 million

Total: $3.731 billion

(Not someone I’m pleased to include)

16. James Wan

Writer | Saw

James Wan (born 26 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...

Saw-$103.1 million Dead Silence-$22.2 million Death Sentence-$27 million Insidious-$97 million The Conjuring-$319.5 million Insidious: Chapter 2-$161.9 million Furious 7-$1.516 billion The Conjuring 2-$320.4 million Aquaman-$1.148 billion

Total: $3.715 billion

17. Pierre Coffin

Actor | Despicable Me 2

Pierre Coffin was born on March 15, 1967 in France. He is an actor and director, known for Despicable Me 2 (2013), Minions (2015) and Despicable Me (2010).

Despicable Me-$543.1 million Despicable Me 2-$970.8 million Minions-$1.159 billion Despicable Me 3-$1.034 billion

Total: $3.706 billion

18. J.J. Abrams

Producer | Lost

Jeffrey Jacob Abrams was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, the son of TV producer parents. Abrams planned on going to dental school, but decided to study film at Sarah Lawrence College. At 15, he wrote the music for Don Dohler's Nightbeast (1982). In his senior year, he and Jill ...

Mission: Impossible 3-$397.9 million Star Trek-$385.7 million Super 8-$260.1 million Star Trek Into Darkness-$467.4 million Star Wars: The Force Awakens-$2.068 billion

Total: $3.579 billion

19. Carlos Saldanha

Director | Rio

Carlos Saldanha is a Brazilian director of animated films. He was the director of Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) and Rio (2011), and the co-director of Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005).

Saldanha was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He left his hometown in 1991 to ...

Ice Age-$383.3 million Robots-$260.7 million Ice Age: The Meltdown-$660.9 million Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs-$886.7 million Rio-$484.6 million Rio 2-$500.1 million Ferdinand-$296.1 million

Total: $3.472 billion

20. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...

Play Misty for Me-$10.6 million High Plains Drifter-$15.7 million Breezy-$N/A The Eiger Sanction-$14.2 million The Outlaw Josey Wales-$31.8 million The Gauntlet-$26.4 million Bronco Billy-$24.3 million Firefox-$46.7 million Honkytonk Man-$4.5 million Sudden Impact-$67.6 million Pale Rider-$41.4 million Heartbreak Ridge-$121.7 million Bird-$2.2 million White Hunter Black Heart-$2 million The Rookie-$21.6 million Unforgiven-$159.2 million A Perfect World-$135.2 million The Bridges of Madison County-$182 million Absolute Power-$50.1 million Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil-$25.1 million True Crime-$16.6 million Space Cowboys-$128.9 million Blood Work-$31.8 million Mystic River-$156.8 million Million Dollar Baby-$216.8 million Flags of Our Fathers-$65.9 million Letters from Iwo Jima-$68.7 million Changeling-$113 million Gran Torino-$270 million Invictus-$122.2 million Hereafter-$105.2 million J. Edgar-$84.9 million Jersey Boys-$67.7 million American Sniper-$547.4 million Sully-$240.8 million The 15:17 to Paris-$57.1 million The Mule-$171.3 million

Total: $3.447 billion

21. Brad Bird

Writer | The Incredibles

Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor, known for both animated and live-action films. Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four children of Marjorie A. (née Cross) and Philip Cullen Bird. His father worked in...

The Iron Giant-$31.3 million The Incredibles-$633 million Ratatouille-$620.7 million Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol-$694.7 million Tomorrowland-$209.2 million Incredibles 2-$1.243 billion

Total: $3.432 billion

22. George Lucas

Writer | Star Wars

George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional racecar ...

THX 1138-$2.4 million American Graffiti-$140 million Star Wars-$775.4 million Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace-$1.027 billion Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones-$649.4 million Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith-$848.8 million

Total: $3.418 billion

23. Francis Lawrence

Director | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Francis Lawrence was born on March 26, 1971 in Vienna, Austria. He is a director and producer, known for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), Constantine (2005) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015).

Constantine-$230.9 million I Am Legend-$585.3 million Water For Elephants-$117 million The Hunger Games: Catching Fire-$865 million The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1-$755.4 million The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2-$653.4 million Red Sparrow-$151.6 million

Total: $3.359 billion

24. Sam Raimi

Director | Spider-Man

Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead (1981). From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making ...

It’s Murder!-N/A The Evil Dead-$29.4 million Crimewave-$0.05 million Evil Dead II-$5.9 million Darkman-$32.9 million Army of Darkness-$21.5 million The Quick and the Dead-$18.6 million For Love of the Game-$46.1 million A Simple Plan-$16.3 million The Gift-$44.6 million Spider-Man-$821.7 million Spider-Man 2-$795.1 million Spider-Man 3-$894.9 million Drag Me To Hell-$91.4 million Oz The Great and Powerful-$490.4 million

Total: $3.309 billion

25. Zack Snyder

Director | 300

Zachary Edward "Zack" Snyder (born March 1, 1966) is an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter, best known for action and science fiction films. Snyder made his feature film debut with the 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead and has gone on to be known for his comic book movies and ...

Dawn of the Dead-$102.2 million 300-$456.1 million Watchmen-$185.3 million Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole-$140.1 million Sucker Punch-$89.8 million Man of Steel-$668 million Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice-$873.6 million Justice League-$657.9 million

Total: $3.173 billion

26. Bill Condon

Director | Kinsey

Bill Condon was born on October 22, 1955 in New York City, New York, USA as William Patrick Condon. He is a director and writer, known for Kinsey (2004), Dreamgirls (2006) and Gods and Monsters (1998).

Sister, Sister-$0.74 million Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh-$13.9 million Gods And Monsters-$6.4 million Kinsey-$16.9 million Dreamgirls-$154.9 million The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1-$712.2 million The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2-$829.7 million The Fifth Estate-$8.6 million Mr. Holmes-$29.4 million Beauty and the Beast-$1.264 billion

Total: $3.038 billion

27. M. Night Shyamalan

Producer | Lady in the Water

Born in Puducherry, India, and raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional actor, known for making movies with contemporary supernatural plots.

He is the son of Jayalakshmi, a Tamil ...

Praying With Anger-N/A Wide Awake-$0.28 million The Sixth Sense-$672.8 million Unbreakable-$248.2 million Signs-$408.2 million The Village-$256.7 million Lady In The Water-$72.8 million The Happening-$163.4 million The Last Airbender-$319.7 million After Earth-$243.8 million The Visit-$98.4 million Split-$278.5 million Glass-$246.9 million

Total: $3.010 billion

28. Joss Whedon

Writer | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon. Whedon was ...

Serenity-$38.9 million Marvel's The Avengers-$1.519 billion Much Ado About Nothing-$5.3 million Avengers: Age of Ultron-$1.405 billion

Total: $2.968 billion

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