Special Report

The 50 Highest Grossing Film Directors of All Time

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30. Robert Zemeckis
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$5.38
> Movie with highest ROI: Back to the Future (1985)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 8/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 66.8%

Robert Zemeckis has a knack for knowing what will appeal to American movie-goers. “Forrest Gump,” which tells the story of post-war America through the experiences of a mentally challenged man, played by Tom Hanks, was a huge hit. Zemeckis and Hanks rejoined to make “Cast Away.” He struck box-office gold with his sly animation motion picture “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”

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29. Nicole Holofcener
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$5.52
> Movie with highest ROI: Lovely & Amazing (2001)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 6.6/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 85.4%

Nicole Holofcener is known for making well-crafted and nuanced movies about human relationships. At 85.4%, her films have one of the higher Tomatometer score averages on the list. She also has directed episodes of television shows such as “Gilmore Girls” and “Sex and the City.”

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28. Tim Story
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$5.68
> Movie with highest ROI: Think Like a Man (2012)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 5.8/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 32.9%

Tim Story earned a reputation for telling insightful urban stories in movies such as “Barbershop.” He branched out to adapt the Marvel comic book series “The Fantastic Four” in 2005 and did the rom-com “Think Like a Man” in 2012.

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27. Rian Johnson
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$5.80
> Movie with highest ROI: Brick (2005)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 7.4/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 89.8%

After years of making short films, Johnson broke through with the teen-themed thriller “Brick” in 2005. He was director/screenwriter for megahit “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” His take on the murder-mystery genre “Knives Out” holds a Rotten Tomatoes critics rating of 97%.

26. Danny Boyle
> Avg. box office to production budget ratio: +$5.83
> Movie with highest ROI: Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
> Avg. IMDb user rating: 7.5/10
> Avg. Tomatometer score: 74.4%

Danny Boyle has succeeded in various genres in film, including offbeat rom-com (“Slumdog Millionaire”), music-fantasy (“Yesterday”), and biography/drama (“127 Hours”). The British director got strong notices from critics with “Trainspotting,” a disturbing movie about drug addiction in Scotland.

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