Special Report

The 50 Highest Grossing Film Directors of All Time

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50. Jake Kasdan
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$4.33
> Movie with highest ROI: Bad Teacher (2011)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 6.4/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 58%

Jake Kasdan, son of noted writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, made his directorial debut in 1998 with the detective story “Zero Effect.” His most profitable film to date is “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”

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49. Lee Daniels
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$4.37
> Movie with highest ROI: Precious (2009)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 7/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 65.8%

Lee Daniels’ movies have focused on the underdog. His most famous film, “Precious,” was about an inner-city African-American girl who triumphs over physical abuse. It won two Academy Awards, and Daniels was nominated, but did not win, for Best Director.

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48. Charles Martin Smith
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$4.40
> Movie with highest ROI: Air Bud (1997)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 6.3/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 68.8%

Charles Martin Smith carved out an acting niche as a nebbishy man who’s thrust into risky situations – he was the doomed accountant in “The Untouchables.” As a filmmaker, he directed Disney’s “Air Bud,” which was a hit.

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47. Raja Gosnell
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$4.47
> Movie with highest ROI: Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 5.2/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 26.7%

Raja Gosnell was a well-respected film editor who worked on such successes as “Pretty Woman,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” before he directed his first film, “Home Alone 3.” Gosnell has also directed The Smurfs movie franchise.

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46. Judd Apatow
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$4.47
> Movie with highest ROI: Knocked Up (2007)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 6.8/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 75.9%

Television writer and producer Judd Apatow’s films have an improvisational quality to them. He struck gold in his directorial debut with the film “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” starring Steve Carell. His next movie, “Knocked Up,” is the film with the highest return on investment for him so far.

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