The most profitable filmmakers currently aliveby comicman117 | created - 14 Sep 2011 | updated - 11 Aug 2014 | Public
Most successful (animated and non animated).
Producer | Artificial Intelligence: AI
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, ...
2. 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...
$2,140.9 You may hate his movies but they sure do bring in money.
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 ...
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 ...
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,...
6. 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.
$1,833.7 Actually surprised to see him so high on this list.
7. 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 ...
$1,700.5 Not currently working as a filmmaker however the Star Wars film have made him plenty of money.
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 ...
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, "...
Writer | Dunkirk
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.
11. 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 ...
12. 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 ...
$1,431.8 Guess directing the first three pirates films is enough to make you a billion.
13. Clint Eastwood
Actor | Gran Torino
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...
14. Lee Unkrich
Editor | Coco
Lee Unkrich attended Chagrin Falls High School in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He was born in 1967 and graduated in 1985. He was a great French student and created a character in his movie, Toy Story 2 (1999) after his high school French teacher. He was featured in the local paper twice for Monsters, Inc. ...
15. 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).
16. 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 ...
17. Roland Emmerich
Producer | 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 ...
18. Andrew Adamson
Director | Shrek 2
Andrew Adamson was born on December 1, 1966 in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a producer and director, known for Shrek 2 (2004), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Shrek (2001). He has been married to Gyulnara Karaeva since January 16, 2016. He was previously ...
19. Richard Donner
Director | Superman
Richard Donner was born on April 24, 1930 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard D. Schwartzberg. He is a director and producer, known for Superman (1978), Ladyhawke (1985) and Lethal Weapon (1987). He has been married to Lauren Shuler Donner since November 27, 1986.
20. Brett Ratner
Director | Red Dragon
Brett Ratner is one of Hollywood's most successful filmmakers. His diverse films resonate with audiences worldwide and, as director, his films have grossed over $2 billion at the global box office. Brett began his career directing music videos before making his feature directorial debut at 26 years...
21. Dennis Dugan
Actor | Happy Gilmore
Dennis Dugan was born on September 5, 1946 in Wheaton, Illinois, USA as Dennis Barton Dugan. He is an actor and director, known for Happy Gilmore (1996), You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008) and Big Daddy (1999). He is married to Sharon Dugan. He was previously married to Joyce Van Patten.
22. Ivan Reitman
Producer | Up in the Air
Ivan Reitman, as a producer and director, has created many of American cinema's most successful and best loved feature film comedies and has worked with Hollywood's acting elite. Reitman has produced such hits as the ground-breaking sensation National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), which introduced ...
23. Tony Scott
Producer | Domino
Tony Scott was a British-born film director and producer. He was the youngest of three brothers, one of whom is fellow film director Ridley Scott. He was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England to parents Jean and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. As a result of his father's career in the British...
24. Jay Roach
Director | Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Jay Roach was born on June 14, 1957 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA as Mathew Jay Roach. He is a producer and director, known for Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Trumbo (2015) and Meet the Parents (2000). He has been married to Susanna Hoffs since April 17, 1993. They have two ...
25. Barry Sonnenfeld
Producer | Wild Wild West
Barry Sonnenfeld was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from New York University of Film School in 1978. He started work as director of photography on the Oscar-nominated In Our Water (1982). Then Joel Coen and Ethan Coen hired him for Blood Simple. (1984). This film began his ...
Director | Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to ...
27. John Lasseter
Writer | Toy Story 2
Although born in Hollywood John and his twin sister, Johanna were raised in Wittier near Los Angeles. His parents were Jewell Mae (Risley), an art teacher, and Paul Eual Lasseter, a parts manager at a Chevrolet dealership. His mother's profession contributed to his interest in animation and ...
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 ...
29. Martin Scorsese
Director | Taxi Driver
Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...
30. Todd Phillips
Producer | Due Date
Todd Phillips was born on December 20, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Todd Bunzl. He is a producer and director, known for Due Date (2010), Old School (2003) and The Hangover (2009).
31. Garry Marshall
Director | Pretty Woman
Garry Marshall was born on November 13, 1934 in New York City, New York, USA as Garry Kent Maschiarelli. He was a writer and producer, known for Pretty Woman (1990), The Princess Diaries (2001) and Happy Days (1974). He was married to Barbara Marshall. He died on July 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, ...
32. 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).
33. Shawn Levy
Producer | Arrival
Shawn Levy was born on July 23, 1968 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is a producer and director, known for Stranger Things (2016), Real Steel (2011), and the Night at the Museum franchise. He is the founder and principal of 21 Laps Entertainment. He is married to Serena Levy and they have four ...
34. 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 ...
35. Jon Favreau
Producer | Chef
Initially an indie film favorite, actor Jon Favreau has progressed to strong mainstream visibility into the millennium and, after nearly two decades in the business, is still enjoying character stardom as well as earning notice as a writer/producer/director.
The amiable, husky-framed actor with the ...
37. Jon Turteltaub
Producer | National Treasure
Jon Turteltaub was born on August 8, 1963 in New York City, New York, USA as Jonathan Charles Turteltaub. He is a producer and director, known for National Treasure (2004), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) and Phenomenon (1996). He has been married to Amy Eldon since July 6, 2006. They ...
38. Tom Shadyac
Director | The Nutty Professor
Tom Shadyac moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and, at age 24, became the youngest staff joke writer ever for comedian Bob Hope. Shadyac received his master's degree in film from UCLA in 1989 after completing the critically acclaimed short, Tom, Dick and Harry. He then worked on movies-of-the-week, ...
41. Chris Renaud
Actor | Despicable Me 2
Director Chris Renaud has established himself as a heavyweight in the world of animation following the phenomenal box office success of recent movies Despicable Me (2010), Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012) and Despicable Me 2 (2013). Along with Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon, he also co-created the ...
43. Joe Johnston
Director | Captain America: The First Avenger
Joe Johnston was born on May 13, 1950 in Austin, Texas, USA as Joseph Eggleston Johnston II. He is a director, known for Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), October Sky (1999) and The Rocketeer (1991).
44. Barry Levinson
Director | Rain Man
Barry Levinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Violet (Krichinsky) and Irvin Levinson, who worked in furniture and appliance. He is of Russian Jewish descent. Levinson graduated from high school in 1960, attended college at American University in Washington, DC. He did well, but decided he ...
45. Peter Segal
Director | Get Smart
46. Raja Gosnell
Director | Big Momma's House
Raja Gosnell started his film career as an assistant editor in the late 1970s. His first credit as a film's main editor was the romantic comedy "The Lonely Guy" (1984), for director Arthur Hiller. During the 1980s, Gosnell served as editor in films directed by Tom Laughlin, David Worth, Bob Dahlin,...
Director | Das Boot
This director seems to shine most when making movies that can best be described as part action movies/part disaster movies.
Beginning with Outbreak (1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees....
48. Sydney Pollack
Director | Tootsie
Sydney Pollack was an Academy Award-winning director, producer, actor, writer and public figure, who directed and produced over 40 films.
Sydney Irwin Pollack was born July 1, 1934 in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, to Rebecca (Miller), a homemaker, and David Pollack, a professional boxer turned pharmacist...
(sadly he is deceased).
49. 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 ...
50. 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 ...