Top 10 Richest Directors
- Michael Bay
Net Worth – $430 Million
Michael Benjamin Bay is an American filmmaker known for directing and producing large-budget, high-concept action films characterized by quick cutting, stylistic visuals and heavy use of special effects including numerous explosion depictions. The films he produced and directed, including Armageddon (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001) and the Transformers film series (2007–present), have grossed more than US$ 7.8 billion worldwide, making him one of history’s most commercially successful directors.
Raised in Los Angeles, Michael Bay is. His adoptive parents Harriet, a bookstor owner / child nurse, raised him, and Jim, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Bay was born Israeli. His grandfather is Russian. His cousin, Susan Bay, is the wife of Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy (wom he ultimately casted as Sentinel Prime’s voice actor in Transformers: Dark of the Moon). He attended the prestigious School of Crossroads, in Santa Monica, California.
- Peter Jackson
Net Worth – $450 Million
Jackson began his career with the horror comedy “splatstick” Bad Taste (1987) and the black comedy Meet the Feebles (1989), before filming Braindead (1992), a zombie movie. He shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay with his collaborator Fran Walsh for Heavenly Creatures, which brought him to prominence in the film industry. Jackson won three Academy Awards for The Lord of the Rings: The King’s Return (2003), including a Best Director nomination.
His production company is WingNut Films and the co-writers and producers Walsh and Philippa Boyens are his most frequent collaborators. In 2002 Jackson was made a New Zealand Order of Merit Companion. He was later knighted (as a New Zealand Order of Merit Knight Companion) by Anand Satyanand, New Zealand Governor-General, at a ceremony held in Wellington in April 2010.
ames L Brooks
Net Worth – $500 Million
James Lawrence Brooks is an American director, author, and screenwriter who has helped create a series of acclaimed TV and movie productions including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons, Broadcast News, and Words of Endearment.
When Brooks wrote and co-produced the 1979 movie Starting Over, he went on to feature film production. His next project was the critically acclaimed Endearment movie Terms which he produced, directed, and wrote, winning an Academy Award for all three roles. Based on his reporting experiences, the film earned him another two nominations for the Academy Award, based on his next feature, Broadcast News. While his work I’ll do Something in 1994 was plagued by negative coverage from the press due to cutting all of his recorded musical numbers, As Good as It Gets (co-written with Mark Andrus) received additional praise.
- James Burrows
Net Worth – $600 Million
James Edward Burrows is an American television producer, also known as Jim Burrows, who has been working on television since the 1970s. Burrows has directed over 50 TV pilots and co-created Cheers, a long-running TV series.
Burrows was born in Los Angeles, California to a Jewish family, son of Ruth (Levinson) and Abe Burrows, a well-known composer, director and journalist. James has one son, Grad Laurie Burrows. When James was still a young child, his family moved to New York, where James attended the High School of Music & Art in New York. Burrows is an Oberlin College graduate and the Yale School of Drama graduate programme.
- James Cameron
Net Worth – $700 Million
James Francis Cameron is a Canadian director and environmentalist, best known for the Hollywood mainstream making of science fiction and epic films. Cameron received first credit for directing The Terminator (1984). Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and the action thriller True Lies (1994) enjoyed more critical and commercial success.
By total, Cameron’s films by North America have grossed around US$ 2 billion, and worldwide US$ 6 billion. Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic are the second and third highest selling films, receiving $2.78bn and $2.19bn respectively. Cameron holds the distinction of having directed the first two of the five films in history worldwide to gross over $2 billion.
- Chuck Lorre
Net Worth – $800 Million
Charles Michael Levine was born into a Jewish family, in Plainview, New York. His father, Robert, opened a poorly done luncheonette which caused financial problems. After graduating from high school, Lorre attended Potsdam State University New York, dropping out to pursue a career as a songwriter after two years. He “majored in rock ‘n’ roll and marijuana, and minored in LSD” during his two years at college. He admitted drinking heavily in his past in 2011, telling EW that he “leaded a dissolute youth until 47”
Upon leaving school, Lorre tour as a guitarist and songwriter in the United States. He wrote the song “French Kissin’ in the USA,” which was later released by Deborah Harry for her 1986 album Rockbird. It has been a success in the UK Top 10. He switched to writing scripts for animated shows in the early 1980s, with his first project being the Heathcliff DIC version. Later Lorre co-wrote the score with Dennis Challen Brown for the 1987 television series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Lorre moved to writing for sitcoms in the late 1980s, becoming a writer on the Roseanne series.
- Davis Guggenheim
Net Worth – $2.5 Billion
Philip Davis Guggenheim is director and producer of American films and television. His credits include NYPD Blue, ER, 24, Alias, The Defenders, Deadwood, and An Inconvenient Truth series, The Way We’ve Traveled, Waiting for “Superman” and He Called Me Malala. Guggenheim has been the only filmmaker since 2006 to release three different documentaries rated in the top 100 highest-grossing documentaries of all time.
Philip Davis Guggenheim was born in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, Marion Davis’s son (née Streett), and Charles Guggenheim, film director and producer. His father was a Jew, and his mother an Episcopalian. He studied at Potomac School (McLean, Virginia) (1979), Sidwell Friends School (1982), and Brown University (1986).
- Joao Moreira Salles
Net Worth – $3.2 Billion
João Moreira Salles is a Brazilian documentarian and the president of the Moreira Salles Foundation. He founded the magazine piauí in 2006. He has also taught documentary courses at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and the University of Princeton.
- Steven Spielberg
Net Worth – $3.7 Billion
Steven Allan Spielberg is an American cinematographer. He is considered one of the founding fathers of the New Hollywood era, and one of film history’s most influential directors and producers. Spielberg began television directing and numerous small theatrical releases in Hollywood. As director of Jaws (1975), he became a household name, which has been critically and commercially successful and is considered the first summer blockbuster.
He co-founded Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks Pictures, where he was also a producer or executive producer for many popular film trilogies, tetralogies and more including the Gremlins, Back to the Future, Men in Black and the Transformers show. Later, he went on to create many video games.
- George Lucas
Net Worth – $6.1 Billion
Lucas co-founded American Zoetrope with director Francis Ford Coppola, having graduated from the University of Southern California in 1967. Based on his earlier student short Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, Lucas wrote and directed THX 1138 (1971), which was a critical success but a financial loss. His next work as a writer-director was the movie American Graffiti (1973), influenced by his childhood in Modesto, California in the early 1960s, and created by the newly formed Lucasfilm. The film has been critically and commercially successful, and has earned five nominations for the Academy Award including Best Picture.
Lucas is one of the most prolific filmmakers in history, and has been nominated for four Academy Awards. His films are among the North American box office’s 100 highest-grossing films, adjusted for ticket price inflation. Lucas is considered a leading figure in the Modern Hollywood wave of the 20th century.