There are many directors all throughout the world, but only a few have been able to make it to Hollywood and create hit films. Everyone understands that becoming a successful director is difficult, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are a few remarkable people who have succeeded in turning their ambitions and ideas into reality. And it was even profitable. So who is the richest director in the world?
Though directors make films because they love to, the money is certainly a plus. Depending on how popular their movies are, and how many people go to see it, some directors can earn millions of dollars every time they produce a movie.
From Zhang Yimou to Steven Spielberg, the following list includes 25 of the richest directors in Hollywood.
Who Is The Richest Director In The World?
#25 Zhang Yimou, $70 Million
Source: Didier Baverel/WireImage
Zhang Yimou, a Chinese film filmmaker, and producer, is the world’s 25th richest director.
Zhang, who comes from a family of Chinese filmmakers, has become one of the most successful and well-paid Chinese filmmakers of all time.
Since his debut, he has released over 20 films, the most notable of which being Hero and House of Flying Daggers.
#24 Oliver Stone, $70 Million
Source: Daniel Bergeron
Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter who was born in New York City on September 15, 1946.
Stone rose to popularity in the film industry during the mid-1980s and early 1990s by writing and directing a series of films about the Vietnam War.
His films, which he made as a soldier, are mostly concerned with late-century political and cultural themes.
He has three Academy Award nominations.
#23 Woody Allen, $80 million
Woody Allen is one of the most well-known filmmakers on our list.
Woody has also worked as an actor, comedian, singer, and playwright, but his romantic comedies are his most well-known works.
He began by composing jokes for a TV show before transitioning to stand-up comedy.
After creating plays for Broadway, he transitioned to film and became a phenomenally successful, Oscar-winning writer and director.
#22 Jon Turteltaub, $80 million
Source: Rob Latour/REX Shutterstock
55-year-old Jon Turteltaub is a film producer and director with an estimated net worth of $80 million.
Jon grew up in America and went on to become a renowned director. He is the director of films such as 3 Ninjas, Cool Runnings, Phenomenon, and National Treasure.
Throughout his career, John has collaborated with a wide range of talented performers, including Nicolas Cage, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, and Morgan Freeman.
John Turteltaub’s achievement has made him the world’s twenty-second richest director!
#21 Chris Columbus, $80 million
Source: Blair Raughley/Invision/AP/REX/S
Chris Columbus, an American filmmaker, grew up in Champion, Ohio, and attended the Tisch School of the Arts in New York.
He was a film student who was fascinated about cinematography.
His career began as a screenwriter for Steven Spielberg, where he worked on films such as “The Goonies” and “Gremlins.”
He steadily rose through the ranks, eventually directing films such as “Home Alone,” “Home Alone 2,” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
#20 Judd Apatow, $90 million
Judd Apatow’s career has included a number of well-known and popular films. He was the producer of films such as Pineapple Express, Drillbit Taylor, and The Cable Guy.
He also wrote and produced films such as The Forty-Year-Old Virgin, Fun With Dick and Jane, Knocked Up, Get Him to the Greek, and others.
His career really took off in 2004. He wrote success after smash, clearly leading him to become one of the world’s richest filmmakers.
#19 Rob Reiner, 100$ million
Source: Brian Ach/Invision/AP
Rob Reiner is a $100 million dollar net worth American actor, director, and producer.
He is best remembered for his role as Michael “Meathead Stivic” on “All in the Family,” which was the most viewed television sitcom in the United States from 1971 through 1976.
Rob also directed a number of successful films in the 1980s, including “The Sure Thing,” “This Is Spinal Tap,” and “A Few Good Men.”
Rob’s most recent acting appearance was in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
#18 Martin Scorsese, $100 million
Martin Scorsese doesn’t require an introduction! He is largely considered as one of the greatest American filmmakers of all time.
Scorsese was unable to play sports as a child due to a bad bout of asthma, so he focused on watching movies.
This inspired his interest in movies, and he went on to direct ‘Mean Street,’ combining his enthusiasm with his everyday surroundings in New York City.
This was his breakout film, and the rest, as they say, is history.
He has received almost 130 honors, including an Academy Award, an Oscar, and three Golden Globes.
#17 Irwin Winkler, $100 million
Irwin Winkler’s net worth has risen to more than $100 million as the director of more than 50 major movie pictures.
Irwin is a film producer and director who has worked on films such as “Double Trouble,” which starred Elvis Presley, and “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”
Winkler received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 on Hollywood Boulevard for his contributions to the motion film business.
#16 Quentin Tarantino, $120 million – richest director in the world
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Another well-known director, Quentin Tarantino, is best known for writing and directing the two-part film series Kill Bill vol. 1 and Kill Bill vol. 2.
Quentin began his career as an actor, but quickly realized that screenplay was really his forte.
So he shifted his concentration and wrote a screenplay that became the 1993 picture “True Romance.”
Following the popularity of the picture, Quentin was presented with other options, and his career skyrocketed.
His normal advance is now $20 million!
Tarantino might go up a few spots on the list of the richest directors in a few years if he continues to make fantastic films.
#15 Coen Brothers, $120 million – richest director in the world
Source: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty
The Coen brothers are a comedy screenwriting partnership.
They began their careers as screenwriters, producers, and film directors in St. Louis Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and No Country for Old Men are among their most noteworthy works.
Several Academy Awards have been nominated and won by both brothers.
#14 Gore Verbinski, $130 million
With a net worth of $130 million, Gore Verbinski has clearly done something right.
He is a music-loving American film director, screenwriter, and producer.
Some of his most well-known films include “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Ring,” and “Rango.”
Gore attended UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television and received an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for “Rango” in 2012.
#13 Tim Burton, $140 million
Tim Burton is the next richest director on our list.
He is an American film director, writer, and stop motion artist with a net worth of $140 million USD.
“Edward Scissorhands,” “Batman,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and “Alice in Wonderland” are among his films.
Since 2012, Burton has directed 16 films and produced 12 movies.
#12 Guy Ritchie, $150 million
Guy Ritchie is a screenwriter and director from the United Kingdom.
His talents may be seen in films such as “The Hard Case,” “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” and “Snatch.” He is perhaps most known for his eight-year marriage to megastar Maddona.
In 2017, he wrote, produced, and directed “The Man From UNCLE” and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Despite his professional achievement, a portion of his net worth can be linked to the $90 million divorce settlement he received from his now ex-wife in 2008.
#11 Ron Howard, $160 million
Ron Howard was born on March 1, 1954, in Duncan, Oklahoma.
He is an American actor, director, and producer who began his career in 1959 as “Opie Taylor” on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Richie Cunningham in the hit comedy Happy Days was one of his most well-known performances.
He played that role for six years until making his directorial debut with Grand Theft Auto in 1977.
Cocoon, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Beautiful Mind, and The Da Vinci Code are among his most renowned films.
#10 Christopher Nolan, $180 million
Source: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock
Christopher Nolan, a British-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and producer, has entered the top 10 richest directors in the world, with a net worth of $180 million.
Christopher is known for his dark, psychological plays. “Memento,” “Inception,” and the “Batman” franchise starring Christian Bale are among his most well-known flicks.
Christopher Nolan became a well-known film director after the success of the reborn Batman films.
#9 Roland Emmerich, $200 million
Roland Emmerich is a $200 million dollar net worth German-born director, film producer, and screenwriter.
Eye of the Storm, Universal Soldier, and 10,000 B.C. are among the films Roland has written, produced, and directed.
He appears to be best renowned for his epic action flicks, such as The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, and 2012.
Roland made more than $70 million on the film 2012, which grossed $750 million worldwide.
#8 Francis Ford Coppola, $300 million
Source: Gundolf Pfotenhauer
Francis Ford Coppola has a $300 million USD net worth.
He became wealthy by writing and directing films such as The Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now, Patton, The Outsiders, and Dracula.
He is a multi-Academy Award winner for writing and directing, and is widely regarded as one of America’s most unconventional and contentious filmmakers.
#7 Ridley Scott, $400 million
Source: AP PHOTO/CHRIS WEEKS
Ridley Scott is responsible for the films Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and Hannibal.
Ridley is an English film director and producer who was born in Tyne and Wear, South Shields, in 1937.
His debut in the film industry came with the release of Alien, a 1979 sci-fi horror film.
Scott went on to create and direct a series of movie office hits after releasing the film, including Kingdom of Heaven, American Gangster, and Robin Hood.
#6 Michael Bay, $430 million
Source: Francois G. Durand/Getty Images
Michael Bay is a native of the United States. Bay is an American film filmmaker and producer best known for his work on Bad Boys I and II, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and the Transformers series.
In addition to his cinematic career, Michael has created television programs such as No Way Out and Cocaine Cowboys, and he has received five MTV Awards.
The Transformers Trilogy, produced by Steven Spielberg, was Michael’s biggest career achievement, earning him $200 million USD.
#5 Peter Jackson, $500 million
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Are you a Lord of the Rings fan? You may credit Peter Jackson, director, writer, and multi-award winning producer, for that.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy earned Jackson $180 million and paved the way for further success with films such as “King Kong” and “The Lovely Bones.”
King Kong contributed significantly to his net worth, as he was paid $20 million plus 20% of box office sales!
#4 Tyler Perry, $600 million
Source: Amy Sussman/Invision/AP
Tyler Perry, an American actor, director, and producer, is next on the list.
Tyler has a $600 million net worth and makes between $100 and $150 million every year from his enterprise.
In addition, he is the only filmmaker in history to have five films debut at the top of the box office in the last five years.
He writes, directs, and produces all of his films, so he gets a considerably larger cut of the revenues!
#3 James Cameron, $700 million – 3rd richest director in the world
Source: LUCY NICHOLSON
James Cameron is the third richest director on our list.
Cameron, a Canadian-born director, is responsible for some fantastic films, including Aliens, Rambo II, Terminator, and Titanic.
He has earned over $1.9 billion from his films and has directed two of the highest-grossing films of all time: Titanic and Avatar.
Cameron was the first person to direct a $100 million dollar film, among many other accomplishments.
#2 Steven Spielberg, $3.7 billion – 2nd richest director in the world
Source: Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock
Steven Spielberg, a three-time Academy Award winner, is one of the world’s most recognized and wealthy directors.
His professional career began at Universal Studios. He then directed “Amblin,” a twenty-four-minute short film that piqued the interest of Sidney Shainberg, vice president of production at Universal’s television division.
Following that, Spielberg became the youngest filmmaker to sign a long-term deal with a major studio.
Over the course of four decades, he has directed a lot of films, including Jaws, ET, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park!
#1 George Lucas, $5.4 billion – Richest director in the world
Source: Matt Baron/Shutterstock
George Lucas is the world’s richest director, with a net worth of $5.4 billion!
George Lucas is a director, writer, and producer best known for his work on the Star Wars saga.
He’s also worked on Body Heat, Labyrinth, and the Indiana Jones film franchise.
Lucas’ net worth skyrocketed in 2012, when he sold his whole company, Lucasfilm, to Disney for a staggering $4 billion!
Because he owned the entire company, all profits went to him.
His tremendous net worth currently ranks him as the world’s richest director.
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