Top 10 Most Successful Male Directors

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These 10 directors have produced dozens of science fiction and action-adventure films that are considered classics and the biggest blockbusters of all time:

10. George Lucas

Total Films Directed: 6, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 3,997,678,795

George Lucas is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur and is known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. He was a founder of Lucasfilm and served as chairman before selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012.

9. Tim Burton

Total Films Directed: 18, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 4,089,305,587

Tim Burton is an American filmmaker, artist, writer, and animator. He is known for his dark, gothic, and eccentric horror and fantasy films such as Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), the superhero films Batman (1989) and its first sequel, Batman Returns (1992), the sci-fi film Planet of the Apes (2001), the fantasy-drama Big Fish (2003).

The musical adventure film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), the fantasy film Alice in Wonderland (2010), movies have made him one of the most popular directors of the late 20th century.

8. Chris Columbus

Total Films Directed: 15, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 4,099,031,132

Chris Columbus is an American filmmaker and is known for directing films such as Home Alone (1990); its sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), which became the highest-grossing live-action comedy film of all time in the United States and worldwide.

His other biggest blockbusters include Bicentennial Man (1999), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), its sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) and Pixels (2015).

He is also known for writing films such as Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985).

7. Christopher Nolan

Total Films Directed: 10, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 4,227,531,716

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, including, The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Following (1998), Insomnia (2002), Dunkirk (2017), Batman Begins (2005), Inception (2010), and Interstellar (2014).

6. Robert Zemeckis

Total Films Directed: 18, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 4,248,997,156

Academy-Award winning director Robert Zemeckis directed the film Back to the Future (1985), which had launched his career, became a huge box office success, grossing close to $200 million in the US.

The Back to the Future trilogy, for which Zemeckis is most known, is today regarded as one of the greatest trilogies to come out of the film industry.

After the Back to the Future trilogy, Zemeckis’s next major film was Forrest Gump (1994), Contact (1997), Castaway (2000), and The Polar Express (2004).

5. David Yates

Total Films Directed: 7, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 5,340,284,639

David Yates is an English filmmaker who has directed films, short films, and television productions. His major claim to fame is directing the final four installments of the famous Harry Potter film series, for which he was honored with the British Academy Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing.

He has directed and produced movies including, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2 (2010 – 11), and The Legend of Tarzan (2016).

4. Micheal Bay

Total Films Directed: 13, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 5,845,137,383

Michael Benjamin Bay is an American film director and producer, and his known for directing and producing big-budget, action films characterized by fast cutting, stylistic visuals and extensive use of special effects.

His films, which include The Rock (1996), Armageddon (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001), and the Bad Boys (1995) and Transformers series (2007–present), have grossed over three billion dollars worldwide.

3. James Cameron

Total Films Directed: 10, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 6,207,806,867

James Cameron is the Canadian writer-director for several modern classics including The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).

His creation Avator (2009) is the biggest movie of all time, and Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5 are all planned for release between 2020 and 2025.

2. Peter Jackson

Total Films Directed: 14, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 6,530,713,297

New Zealand native Peter Jackson is best known as a director for his adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, which won 11 Oscars.

The highest-grossing film trilogy in history, with more than $2.9 billion in worldwide box office revenue, as well as one of the most acclaimed series of all time with 17 Academy Awards and 30 nominations, The Lord of the Rings established Peter Jackson as one of the world’s greatest directors.

Some of his famous movies include, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), King Kong (2005), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and Heavenly Creatures (1994).

1. Steven Spielberg

Total Films Directed: 30, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 9,691,930,230

Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema and is Hollywood’s best-known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world.

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Steven Spielberg’s work boasts an extremely diverse array of stories, characters, and themes, and has done more to define popular film-making since the mid-1970s than anyone else.

He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, including, Jaws (1975), E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Jurassic Park (1993), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and War of the Worlds (2005), to name few.