Top 10 Most Successful Female Directors

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Explore the list of the top 10 highest-grossing films at the worldwide box office that was directed by Women. It includes some of the most beloved movies including Shrek, The Matrix Trilogy, Sleepless in Seattle and Kung Fu Panda 3.

10. Anne Fletcher

Total Films Directed: 5, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 685,373,124

Anne Fletcher is one of the film industry’s most sought-after choreographers and directors. She is known for her work on The Proposal (2009), Hairspray (2007) and Step Up (2006).

Made for an estimated $12 million, Step Up went on to bring in more than $65 million at the box office. The movie was such a success that it spawned several sequels and launched Channing Tatum to fame.

9. Phyllida Lloyd

Total Films Directed: 2, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 724,798,336

Phyllida Lloyd is known for her work on Mamma Mia! (2008), The Iron Lady (2011) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018).

8. Brenda Chapman

Total Films Directed: 2, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 759,050,251

Brenda Chapman is known for her work on Brave (2012), The Prince of Egypt (1998) and The Lion King (1994) and became the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major studio, DreamWorks Animation’s.

Her co-directed Disney/Pixar film Brave (2012), made her the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

7. Vicky Jenson

Total Films Directed: 3, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 858,098,966

Vicky Jenson’s career spans more than two decades in both animation and live-action and has been said to be one of Hollywood’s most inspiring female Directors.

Her credits include TV classics – The Smurfs (1981) for Hanna Barbera, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), Batman (1992) and Jem TV Series (1986-1988).

6. Nora Ephron

Total Films Directed: 8, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 879,940,416

Nora Ephron was an American journalist, writer, and filmmaker. She is best known for her romantic comedy films and was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Writing: for Silkwood (1983), When Harry Met Sally (1989), and Sleepless in Seattle (1993).

5. Betty Thomas

Total Films Directed: 7, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 1,007,159,961

Betty Thomas is an American actress, director, and producer of television and motion pictures. She is known for her Emmy Award-winning role as Sergeant Lucy Bates on the television series Hill Street Blues.

After making several other acting appearances, Thomas began directing episodes of Hooperman in addition to the premiere episodes of Doogie Howser, M.D. in 1989.

She went on to direct episodes of Arresting Behavior and several episodes of the HBO series Dream On, the latter of which earned her an Emmy for best director.

4. Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Total Films Directed: 2, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 1,185,573,636

Jennifer Yuh Nelson, also known as Jennifer Yuh, is a Korean-American director and storyboard artist. She is the director of Kung Fu Panda 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, and The Darkest Minds. Yuh is the first woman to solely direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio.

3. Jennifer Lee

Total Films Directed: 1, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 1,276,480,335

Jennifer Michelle Lee is an American screenwriter, film director, playwright, and chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

She is best known as the writer and director of Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Zootopia (2016) and Frozen (2013), for which she earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

2. Nancy Meyers

Total Films Directed: 6, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 1,351,752,614

Nancy Jane Meyers is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. She is known for her several big-screen successes, including The Parent Trap (1998), What Women Want (2000), Something’s Gotta Give (2003), The Holiday (2006), It’s Complicated (2009) and The Intern (2015).

1. Lilly & Lana Wachowski

Total Films Directed: 7, Box Office (US$ Worldwide): 2,045,207,759

Lilly & Lana Wachowski – collectively known as The Wachowskis, wrote and directed The Matrix Trilogy (1999 – 2003). The three movies made a total of US $ 2,045,207,759 at the box office worldwide.

The duo also co-created with J. Micheal Straczynski the sci-fi TV series Series 8, which debuted on June 5, 2015.