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The 10 Directors Who Have Accumulated the Most Box-Office Dollars Without Directing a Sequel

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | January 27, 2013 | Comments ()


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At the weekend box-office, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters easily dispatched with the competition, despite a disappointing $19 million box-office take, although with foreign grosses, the film has already racked up more than it's $50 million budget ($54 million), although it's highly unlikely to merit a sequel (despite the movie having set the stage for additional installments). It's more evidence that audiences aren't super keen on these re-imagined fairy tales, so it's back to the drawing board for the Hollywood studio system (next up: Dark, gritty versions of Winnie the Pooh characters?).

In at number two, Jessica Chastain's Mama added another $12 million, and it's cumulative $48 million has put it well over the cost of production ($15 million). Silver Linings Playbook ($10 million) continues to gain momentum heading toward the Oscars, rising to number three and surpassing Zero Dark Thirty ($9.8 million) in its 11th week of release. Both films have made $69 million so far.

Jason Statham's latest, Parker was a major disappointment, debuting with only $7 million and signaling the definitive end to Jennifer Lopez's feature-film career. Meanwhile, the other new release, the deplorable Movie 43, opened with only $5 million, yet with only a $6 million budget, looks to be a revenue generator.

Interestingly, the top ten films of the week boasted no sequels among them, a rarity these days at the multiplex. In fact, sequels have become so deeply ingrained into the fabric of moviegoing that I decided to see how far I could go down the list of the highest grossing directors of all time before I could list 10 directors who have zero sequels in the filmography. The answer? 59.

Here are the 10 Directors Who Have Accumulated the Most Box-Office Dollars Without Directing a Sequel. The surprise? Roland Emmerich hasn't directed a sequel (yet, anyway, although he's been threatening one to Independence Day for years).


1. Clint Eastwood ($1.2 billion) (Gran Torino) (#13 overall)

2. Roland Emmerich ($1.1 billion) (Independence Day (#19 overall)

3. M. Night Shyamalan ($969 million) (The Sixth Sense (#28 overall)

4. Dennis Dugan ($963 million) (Big Daddy) (#29 overall)

5. Barry Levinson ($809 million) (Rain Man) (#40 overall)

6. Wolfgang Petersen ($775 million) (Perfect Storm) (#41 overall)

7. Sydney Pollack ($774 million) (Tootsie (#42 overall)

8. Mike Nichols ($722 million) (The Birdcage) (#48)

9. The Farrelly Bros. ($704 million) (There's Something About Mary) (#51)

10. Andrew Stanton ($677 million) (Finding Nemo) (#59)




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  • TheOtherGreg

    Eeyore: The Day of Reckoning.

  • elenaran

    I think it's worth mentioning Tarantino - Kill Bill was really one movie split into two parts, not an original and a sequel

  • badmthfckr

    Dennis Dugan has Grown Ups 2 in post production

  • NateMan

    I love every Jason Statham movie ever. They're exactly what I'm looking for when I want to shut my brain off and watch an intimidating bald man kick the sweet baby Jesus out of miscellaneous thugs. So I was incredibly disheartened to see Jennifer Lopez is in this. Why do they keep giving her jobs?!

  • ,

    "the definitive end to Jennifer Lopez’s feature-film career."

    *prays to every god in heaven and some in the netherworld that this is true*

    I weep for Hispanic people and their marvelous cultures that the likes of J Lo and George Lo are among the best-known representatives of those cultures among Americans.

  • Kballs

    Dennis Dugan shouldn't count since every Adam Sandler movie is technically a sequel to Billy Madison.

  • BlackRabbit

    Should be filmography. Sorry, sorry.

  • PQ

    The Departed is a remake, should that be taken into consideration?

  • Arran

    In what way? Scorsese isn't on the list.

    EDIT: Never mind, I gather based on other comments that he originally was. MOVING ON.

  • Uriah_Creep

    It’s more evidence that audiences aren’t super keen on these
    re-imagined fairy tales, so it’s back to the drawing board for the
    Hollywood studio system (next up: Dark, gritty versions of Winnie the Pooh characters?).

    Seth McFarlane needs to get on this.

  • JJ

    Pooh's food obsession and health issues, Tigger's addiction to crank, Eeyore cutting his own stitches just to feel something, Rabbit's fits of rage and resultant dead hookers buried under his garden? This stuff rights itself.

  • Kballs

    Don't forget Kanga and Roo's drug smuggling operation headed up by Heffalump a.k.a. the Butcher of Ashdown.

  • JJ

    Owl's dyslexia and borderline illiteracy, Piglet's combo of OCD and agoraphobia, and Christopher Robin the schizophrenic.

  • Kballs

    Owl also has dementia and hoards Tootsie Pops.

  • NateMan

    I thought the Heffalump was just a hallucination brought on by the newest street drug, nicknamed Elephant Poo.

  • Mrs. Julien

    The woozle's a pusher. No wonder Piglet is terrified.

  • Roland Emmerich shouldn't be commended for not directing a sequel. He just needs a fresh Earth to destroy each time.

  • Mrs. Julien

    That's funny, because when I see there's a new Roland Emmerich film, I think, "what fresh Hell is this?"

  • Wasn't it Sartre who said, 'Hell is other people, but often it's also what it feels like to be a perpetually resurrected Earth waking up next to Roland Emmerich'

  • Joe

    The Color of Money and Sudden Impact are technically sequels.

  • Nic Cage

    She's right

  • ed newman

    Sequels for sure. But I don't think they are sequels to the director's own films, if that matters.

  • pajiba

    We'll count it. Noted and corrected!

  • Mr. E

    The Avengers brought in 1.5 Billion by itself and Joss Whedon hasn't directed a sequel yet.

  • Arran

    Even though he would just miss the list anyway, one could argue that The Avengers IS a sequel. And Serenity kind of was too.

  • NateMan

    Yeah, that confused me too.

  • Nic Cage

    US box office only

  • Swiss Fox

    Don't count The Color of Money as a sequel?

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