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Most Bankable Directors (per film average)

Guess the film directors with the highest per-film average gross. To qualify they must have directed AT LEAST 5 films.
Average per film gross is determined based on domestic box office receipts.
Last updated: July 08, 2015
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Average Film Gross
Top Grossing Film
Director
$290.7 M
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
George Lucas
$230.6 M
Catching Fire
Francis Lawrence
$219.4 M
Avatar
James Cameron
$207.2 M
Toy Story 2
John Lasseter
$201.8 M
The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan
$194.9 M
Transformers 2: The Rape of Your Childhood
Michael Bay
$192.5 M
Shrek 2
Andrew Adamson
$177.9 M
Return of the King
Peter Jackson
$169.0 M
Dead Man's Chest
Gore Verbinski
$161.9 M
Ice Age 3
Carlos Saldanha
$158.3 M
The Incredibles
Brad Bird
$153.9 M
E.T.
Steven Spielberg
$152.8 M
Madagascar 3
Eric Darnell
$138.6 M
Iron Man
Jon Favreau
$135.9 M
Meet the Fockers
Jay Roach
$127.5 M
Forrest Gump
Robert Zemeckis
$126.7 M
Man of Steel
Zack Snyder
$123.9 M
The Lion King
Rob Minkoff
$123.4 M
Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides
Rob Marshall
$123.3 M
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bryan Singer
$119.4 M
Hairy Pooter and the Sorcerer's Bone
Chris Columbus
$118.9 M
Independence Day
Roland Emmerich
$116.1 M
Talladega Nights
Adam McKay
$114.5 M
The Sixth Sense
M. Night Shyamalan
$113.7 M
Twister
Jan DeBont
+1
level 32
Jul 19, 2013
Transformers 2: The rape of your childhood.....Twilight: Breaking Yawn....Hairy Pooter....LOL
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level 76
Jul 19, 2013
there may have been a few typos.
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level 82
Jul 19, 2013
Meh. I know it's all in fun, but it's kinda distracting while trying to think of the name of that guy Bruckheimer pulls the strings on like a marionette, to have to translate joke movie titles. Incidentally, it's too bad Columbus didn't direct the fifth one - "Hairy Pooter and the Order of the Penis" is just so much funnier.
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level 76
Jul 19, 2013
haha oh come on.. just consider it part of the challenge then.
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level 32
Nov 7, 2013
Funniest quiz I have seen so far!
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level 76
Nov 6, 2014
Updated and reduced in size to top 20
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level 49
Dec 13, 2014
For anyone wondering why Mr Lucas has directed so few films, while producing so many, here is your answer - he has been waiting three decades to appear at the top of this list. Thank you for this quiz, which was great fun and must have taken a bit of writing. I was annoyed not to be able to remember how to spell 'Verbinski' and could picture Peter Jackson without remembering his name, but was otherwise reasonably pleased with my performance. It makes you realise why there are so many big sci-fi movies and animated films - they have the potential to make A LOT of money. It's interesting how the animation directors are so much less well known that the Spielbergs and Jacksons of the film world. Thanks again for a great quiz
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level 76
Dec 13, 2014
I think that, for whatever reason, those directors of the Ice Age, Shrek and Toy Story movies are seen as not really having as much input on the film as big-name directors like Spielberg, Lucas, or Bay. Pixar movies are thought of as team efforts and products of the Pixar studio, not any one big-personality director with a grand vision... whoever gets the director credit almost seems irrelevant. Whether this view is right or wrong, I think that is how most people think of these movies.
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level 76
Jan 23, 2015
Also, another reason Mr. Lucas has probably not directed so many films could be that he is a terrible director. Creative guy. Visionary. By all accounts a pleasure to work with. And gotta respect him for how shrewdly he built his own empire and took on the Hollywood establishment doing it. But... he is a really horrible director.
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level 51
Aug 1, 2016
What makes him a horrible director?
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level 76
Aug 1, 2016
Probably his inability to direct.

A bit hard to explain as most people don't really understand what a director (or a producer) actually does. They just think if a movie is good, it must have had a good director. If it's bad, vice versa.

And this is compounded by the fact that different directors take very different approaches to their jobs. Some, like James Cameron, are obsessive micro managers who, in full or in effect, also become producers, editors, writers, sound mixers, designers, and even FX guys on their own films. Some, like Michael Bay, have such extraordinarily large personalities/egos that their influence starts to leak into every aspect of the film even beyond film direction.

George is like that a bit, too, but IMO his biggest weakness as a director is his complete inability to direct convincing scenes of emotion between characters. He doesn't care about actors and doesn't know how to elicit good performances from them.
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level 76
Aug 1, 2016
He likes to shoot a scene once and then believes that he can fix everything in post, and many of his movies make this very obvious. He's more interested in technology than he is in character or genuine emotion. As a result, so many scenes he has directed that are supposed to play as romantic, charming, sad, disturbing, frightening, or otherwise emotionally intense end up just being comical.

He's got other faults as a director but this is his biggest IMO. He's also the richest man in Hollywood and has surrounded himself seemingly with a bunch of sycophants and yes-men who don't question his dumb decisions. That's another problem.
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level 76
Jul 8, 2015
Updated and expanded.
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level 61
Aug 6, 2016
harry POOTER come on
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