Special Report

Highest-Grossing Movies Directed by Women

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Just three weeks after its release, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” had already raked in over $1 billion at the box office, making it not only the highest-grossing film ever directed by a woman, but one of the top 25 highest-grossing films in history. Only two other woman-directed films have surpassed the $1 billion mark (adjusted for inflation) at the global box office – “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003) and “Captain Marvel” (2019). (Sadly, there are just three women on our list of the 50 most bankable directors.)

Still, a good number of such films have done very well.

To determine the highest-grossing movies directed by women, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on ticket sales from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. Movies directed (or, in six cases here, co-directed) by women were ranked based on inflation-adjusted worldwide box office receipts as of August 2023, adjusted for inflation using historical ticket prices from the National Association of Theatre Owners. Documentaries were not considered. User ratings on IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, and critics’ Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, are current as of August 2023 Director and cast information is from IMDb.

Click here for a list of the  highest-grossing movies directed by women

The spread of films includes action, adventure, sci-fi, comedy, and drama, with seven animated films making the list, including “Shrek” and “The Prince of Egypt.” Nora Ephron, known as a writer and director of romantic comedies, is featured three times on the list, as are Lana and Lilly Wachowski, with the first three “Matrix” films. 

Writer and director Nancy Meyers has five films on the list, including “What Women Want” and “Something’s Gotta Give.” While romantic comedies do appear numerous times, the list also features other comedies including “Wayne’s World,” “Dr. Dolittle,” and “A League of Their Own.” (See this list of the 50 best movies directed by women.)

40. Birds of Prey (2020)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $201.9 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (208,874 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 79% (430 reviews)
> Directed by: Cathy Yan
> Starring: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

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39. 27 Dresses (2008)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $204.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (158,630 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 41% (153 reviews)
> Directed by: Anne Fletcher
> Starring: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman

38. Herbie Fully Loaded (2005)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $205.9 million
> IMDb user rating: 4.8/10 (46,567 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 40% (144 reviews)
> Directed by: Angela Robinson
> Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Michael Keaton, Cheryl Hines

37. The Intern (2015)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $214.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (236,255 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 59% (200 reviews)
> Directed by: Nancy Meyers
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo

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36. Little Women (2019)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $218.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (165,569 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 95% (424 reviews)
> Directed by: Greta Gerwig
> Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh

35. Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $219.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10 (72,129 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 78% (212 reviews)
> Directed by: Sharon Maguire
> Starring: Renée Zellweger, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent

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34. Me Before You (2016)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $220.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (226,903 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 54% (180 reviews)
> Directed by: Thea Sharrock
> Starring: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer

33. Michael (1996)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $248.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.7/10 (42,211 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 34% (41 reviews)
> Directed by: Nora Ephron
> Starring: John Travolta, Andie MacDowell, William Hurt

32. It’s Complicated (2009)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $274.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10 (89,276 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 58% (183 reviews)
> Directed by: Nancy Meyers
> Starring: Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin

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31. The Holiday (2006)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $287.0 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (261,104 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 49% (158 reviews)
> Directed by: Nancy Meyers
> Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law

30. A League of Their Own (1992)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $292.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (111,120 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 79% (72 reviews)
> Directed by: Penny Marshall
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty

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29. Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $312.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.4/10 (148,719 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 65% (218 reviews)
> Directed by: Elizabeth Banks
> Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld

28. Big (1988)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $338.0 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (207,973 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 97% (75 reviews)
> Directed by: Penny Marshall
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia

27. The Proposal (2009)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $384.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (307,178 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 44% (189 reviews)
> Directed by: Anne Fletcher
> Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen

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26. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $389.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.0/10 (110,332 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 27% (157 reviews)
> Directed by: Beeban Kidron
> Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant

25. Wayne’s World (1992)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $404.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10 (149,704 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 78% (88 reviews)
> Directed by: Penelope Spheeris
> Starring: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe

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24. Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $405.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (116,385 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 72% (172 reviews)
> Directed by: Nancy Meyers
> Starring: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves

23. The Prince of Egypt (1998)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $427.0 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (124,461 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 80% (89 reviews)
> Directed by: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells
> Starring: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer

22. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $450.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (234,096 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 80% (162 reviews)
> Directed by: Sharon Maguire
> Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant

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21. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $489.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (202,924 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 70% (89 reviews)
> Directed by: Nora Ephron
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear

20. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $504.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.8/10 (166,942 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 75% (60 reviews)
> Directed by: Nora Ephron
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger

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19. Twilight (2008)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $513.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.2/10 (443,020 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 49% (222 reviews)
> Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
> Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke

18. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $541.6 million
> IMDb user rating: 4.5/10 (46,231 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 20% (84 reviews)
> Directed by: Betty Thomas
> Starring: Jason Lee, Zachary Levi, David Cross

17. Shark Tale (2004)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $548.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.0/10 (173,935 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 36% (183 reviews)
> Directed by: Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, Rob Letterman
> Starring: Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger

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16. Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $551.9 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (144,300 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 87% (179 reviews)
> Directed by: Jennifer Yuh Nelson & Alessandro Carloni
> Starring: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman

15. Dr. Dolittle (1998)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $574.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.4/10 (94,928 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 42% (52 reviews)
> Directed by: Betty Thomas
> Starring: Eddie Murphy, Peter Boyle, Ossie Davis

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14. Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $620.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 4.1/10 (306,670 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 25% (281 reviews)
> Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
> Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle

13. What Women Want (2000)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $635.8 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.4/10 (200,208 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 54% (123 reviews)
> Directed by: Nancy Meyers
> Starring: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei

12. Brave (2012)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $638.2 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (388,254 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 78% (252 reviews)
> Directed by: Brenda Chapman & Mark Andrews
> Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson

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11. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $649.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.8/10 (467,833 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 35% (217 reviews)
> Directed by: Lana & Lilly Wachowski
> Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

10. Look Who’s Talking (1989)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $682.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 5.9/10 (80,493 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 57% (37 reviews)
> Directed by: Amy Heckerling
> Starring: John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis

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9. Deep Impact (1998)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $682.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.2/10 (170,608 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 45% (86 reviews)
> Directed by: Mimi Leder
> Starring: Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood

8. Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $768.0 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (265,857 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 81% (182 reviews)
> Directed by: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
> Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan

7. Mamma Mia! (2008)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $770.1 million
> IMDb user rating: 6.4/10 (227,487 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 55% (185 reviews)
> Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
> Starring: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried

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6. Shrek (2001)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $797.3 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (638,681 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 88% (208 reviews)
> Directed by: Vicky Jenson & Andrew Adamson
> Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz

5. Wonder Woman (2017)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $835.4 million
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (611,008 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 93% (470 reviews)
> Directed by: Patty Jenkins
> Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright

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4. The Matrix (1999)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $842.5 million
> IMDb user rating: 8.7/10 (1,759,161 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 88% (155 reviews)
> Directed by: Lana & Lilly Wachowski
> Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

3. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $1.1 billion
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (540,965 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 73% (245 reviews)
> Directed by: Lana & Lilly Wachowski
> Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

2. Captain Marvel (2019)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $1.1 billion
> IMDb user rating: 6.8/10 (492,018 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 79% (542 reviews)
> Directed by: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
> Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn

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1. Barbie (2023)
> Global ticket sales, adjusted for inflation: $1.2 billion
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (229,469 votes)
> Tomatometer score: 88% (442 reviews)
> Directed by: Greta Gerwig
> Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae

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