Special Report

The 50 Highest Grossing Film Directors of All Time

Source: Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

5. Jeff Wadlow
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$12.97
> Movie with highest ROI: Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare (2018)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 6.2/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 21.4%

Jeff Wadlow gained a fan in Quentin Tarantino in 2013, after Tarantino saw Wadlow’s teen crime-fighting movie “Kick-Аss 2.” “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare” is Wadlow’s venture into horror.

Source: Craig Barritt / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

4. Kevin Smith
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$21.64
> Movie with highest ROI: Clerks (1994)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 6.9/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 54.2%

New Jersey native Kevin Smith has found success in movies about teenage angst in the suburbs. The low-budget “Clerks,” with its cast of quirky characters and snappy dialogue, won awards at both the Cannes and Sundance film festivals, and earned critical and box-office acclaim.

Source: Courtesy of Lions Gate Films

3. James Wan
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$29.68
> Movie with highest ROI: Saw (2004)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 7.1/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 64.3%

James Wan is credited with starting the so-called torture porn genre when “Saw” was released in 2004. Wan has directed four movies that have earned more than $100 million, including the horror films “The Nun” and “The Conjuring.”

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

2. William Brent Bell
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$36.58
> Movie with highest ROI: The Devil Inside (2012)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 5.4/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 12.9%

Horror and the supernatural have animated William Brent Bell’s directing career. “The Devil Inside” was a surprise hit in 2012 and is his highest-grossing film. Other thrillers on Bell’s list of credits included the creepy “The Boy.”

Source: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Destination Films

1. Alex Kendrick
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$43.85
> Movie with highest ROI: Facing the Giants (2006)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 6.7/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 34.6%

Alex Kendrick, known for “Facing the Giants,” “War Room,” and “Flywheel,” among other films, doesn’t lead this list in terms of average Tomatometer score or average IMDb user rating. However, his average box-office-to-production-budget ratio of +$43.85 blows away all other directors on the list.

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