Who are the Richest Film Directors in the World?

One may earn a good amount of money performing in front of a camera. But, do you know one may even earn a better and handsome amount of money behind the camera? In the entertainment business, there is a huge possibility to make a lot of money, as the richest directors do. Just one needs to sell his/her creative teamwork and entertain the audience. Now curiosity may arise in the reader’s mind – Who are the Richest Film Directors in the World?

However, in this article, I am going to tell you some richest film director’s name, their net worth, and a brief biography about them. There are so many richest directors all over the world. But, I will only mention the top richest directors introduction according to different film industries. Take a look!


George Lucas

If I have to mention one name of the richest film director ever from Hollywood then the name will be George Lucas. The amount of his net worth is $5.1 billion. Lucas is one of the most financially successful filmmakers in the American film industry.

However, the Star Wars franchise made him rich. The man sold his Star Wars rights to Disney for $4 billion in 2012 and created a galaxy far. It was a smart decision on both sides. Both groups became benefited. As a result, that particular step made Lucas a billionaire and cemented his status as one of the richest film directors in the world.

Mini Bio

Early Life

Renowned director, writer, and producer George Lucas was born as George Walton Lucas Jr. on May 14, 1944, in Modesto, California. His father owned the station store and he had three siblings. In his teens, he went to Thomas Downey High School and became very interested in dragon racing. He planned to become a professional racer driver. A horrific car accident on his high school graduation ended that dream permanently. However, the accident changed his aspects of life.


He decided to attend Modesto Junior College before enrolling in the Film School of the University of Southern California. As a film student, he made several short films, including the Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB (1967), which won first prize at the 1967-68 National Student Film Festival.

Furthermore, In 1967, he received a scholarship from Warner Brothers to observe the making of Finian’s Rainbow (1968). Lucas and Coppola became good friends and formed American Zoetrope in 1969. The company’s first project was Lucas’ full-length version of THX 1138 (1971). In 1971, Coppola went into production for The Godfather (1972), and Lucas formed his own company, Lucasfilm Ltd.

Moreover, in 1973, he wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical American Graffiti (1973) which won the Golden Globe and garnered five Academy Award nominations. From 1973 to 1974, he began writing the screenplay which became Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).


In addition, he established ILM. (Industrial Light & Magic) In 1975 to produce the visual effects required for the movie. Lucas made the other Star Wars films and along with Steven Spielberg created the Indiana Jones series which made box office records of their own.

In 1992, George Lucas received the award ‘Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award’ by the Governor of the Academy Board of Picture Arts and Sciences which was his lifetime achievement.

George Lucas, along with Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper, and Brian De Palma, considered one of the most important and influential filmmakers of the New Hollywood era. George Lucas is the director who personally nominated for four Academy Awards. Some of his films are among the 100 highest-grossing films in the box office of North America, adjusted for the inflation of ticket prices.


Kemi Adetiba

Kemi Adetiba is one of the most prominent contemporary producers/ directors in Nollywood. She has carved a niche for herself in the Nigerian film industry, with a number of top-grossing movies under her belt. Aside from being a movie producer and director, Kemi Adetiba is also a music video director. She has worked with the likes of Olamide, Tiwa Savage, Lynxx, and others in the music industry. Some of the top-grossing movies she has produced/directed include King of Boys (2018) and The Wedding Party (2016). The Wedding Party (1 and 2) remains the highest-grossing movie in Nollywood, with a combined earning of about 1 billion Naira. Though Kemi Adetiba’s net worth is not public, her estimated net worth is 55 million Naira. She considered now one of the richest film directors in the world. Moreover, she is an influential female director & producer in Nollywood so far.

Mini Bio

Early Life

Kemi Adetiba was born in Lagos on January 7, 1970. She began her career in the media as a young child, where she headlined two national television commercials with her father, Dale Adetiba. He was an expert in advertising of broadcast industries. His daughter followed in his footsteps.

Kemi started out professionally as a radio presenter with Rhythm 93.7 FM, where she became the voice behind two nationally syndicated hit shows: Soul’d Out and Sunday at the Seaside.


She became the face of television by a voice on the radio by producing and presenting multiple shows in Mnet, including Studio 53. Kemi was also a presenter on Soundcity TV and hosted Maltina Dance All for three consecutive seasons.

In addition, after years of being successful in front of the camera, Kemi enlisted into the New York Film Academy to learn the ropes about being behind the camera. At present, her samples of work as a director are spread across the African continent and beyond its border. Kemi Adetiba’s short film ‘Across a Bloodied Ocean’ screened at the 2009 Pan African Film Festival and National Black Arts Festival.

On 8 September 2016, Kemi Adetiba’s first feature film ‘The Wedding Party’ premiered on opening night, at the Toronto International Film Festival, as the opening film of the City-to-City Spotlight.


Furthermore, some of the awards she won include Best Female Video for the song “Ekundayo” by TY Bello at the Soundcity TV Music Video Awards, Best Female Video for the song “Today na Today” by Omawumi at the 2010 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

However, Adetiba’s most recent works are music video direction of Waje’s “Onye” which features Tiwa Savage, Olamide’s “Anifowose”, “Sitting on the Throne” and Bez’s R&B single “Say”. Kemi was nominated for Best Music Video Director of the Year at The Headies 2014. She won the City People Entertainment Award for Best Music Video Director Of The Year (2015).


Karan Johar

Karan Johar is a very talented and dazzling director, well known for his efforts in making films. Moreover, he is considered the richest director in Bollywood. He belongs to Net worth: $200 million, which is a pretty good amount for a Bollywood director. KJo is also a producer and screenwriter, at the same time actor and fashion designer. He also hosts a popular TV show named ‘Koffee with Karan’. Apart from directing movies and hosting shows Karan Johar, also appeared as a judge of various many Hindi Shows such as India’s Got Talent, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, and India’s Next Superstars.

Mini Bio

Early Life

Karan Kumar Johar often informally referred to as KJo was born on 25 May 1972. He is the son of Hiroo Johar and the producer Yash Johar. He attended the H.R. School of Commerce and Economics, located in Mumbai. Karan Johar got his graduate degree in the French language.

Career & Achievements

KJo began his career in the media industry by acting. In 1989, he performed the role of Shrikant in the Doordarshan Serial Indradhanush. This young director influenced by the Bollywood commercial industry in his early childhood.

Moreover, in 1998, Karan Johar directed the blockbuster sentimental film, Kuch Hota Hai. This film is considered as his directorial debut because this movie garnered him the Filmfare Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Director.

Furthermore, he directed Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001, and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna in 2006. These films’ outcome was truly successful. He made money from these blockbusters.

In 2010, Karan Johar directed another film depicting the social impact of ‘My Name Is Khan’. The film proved to be a huge success and Karan won the 2nd Filmfare Award for Best Director. As a result, Karan Johar became one of the richest film directors in the world within a very short time.


Bong Joon-ho

Bong Joon-ho is a South Korean film director and producer who has a net worth of $30 million. He is considered one of the richest directors in Hallyuwood. On February 9, 2020, Bong Joon-ho won several Academy Awards, including for Best Director and Best Picture for his movie ‘Parasite’. He earned enormous praise critically and commercially for 2013’s ‘Snowpiercer’ and 2017’s ‘Okja’. Snowpiercer earned $86 million on a budget of $40 million while Okja earned $50 million globally on a box office of just on a $2 million budget.

Mini Bio

Early Life

Bong Joon-ho was born on September 14, 1969, in Daegu, South Korea. His father, Bong Sang-Gyun, was a first-generation graphic designer, industrial designer, and professor of art at Yeungnam University and the head of the art department at the National Film Institute; his mother, Park So-young, was a full-time housewife. He wanted to be a film director when he was just fourteen-years-old.


After graduation, he spent the next five years contributing various abilities to work with other directors. Bong began shooting his first feature Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) under the supervision of the producer Cha Seung-Jae. Bong’s second film, Memories of Murder (2003), was a larger project, It was adapted from a stage play based on a real-life serial killer. Thus, he started his career in film making and gradually became popular.


Several of his movies are among the highest-grossing films in South Korean history. His 2003 movie “Memories of a Murder” earned critical acclaim but it was his 2006 movie “The Host” that brought him widespread fame.

However, he became truly internationally recognizable after the release of “Parasite” in 2019. The parasite would go on to win dozens of awards including several Golden Globes, the Palm d’Or, and several Academy Awards. The film earned $170 million globally on a budget of $11 million. Thus, he became one of the richest film directors around the world.

Chinese Film Industry

Zhang Yimou

Zhang Yimou is a Chinese film director, producer, and former cinematographer who has a net worth of $70 million. He is considered one of the richest directors in the Chinese Film Industry. Belonging to the 5th Generation of Chinese filmmakers, he is an award-winning director who is considered to be both the highest-paid and most acclaimed among his Chinese colleagues.

Mini Bio

Early Life

Zhang Yimou was born on November 14, 1951, in Xi’an, Shaanxi, China. Zhang’s father, Zhang Bingjun was a dermatologist, had been an officer in the National Revolutionary Army during the Chinese Civil War. During the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, Zhang left his school studies and went to work. During this time he took up painting and amateur still photography. He sold his own blood to buy his first camera. In 1978, he went to Beijing Film Academy and majored in photography. He has an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Boston University and also one from Yale University.

Career & Achievements

He is probably most famous for directing films like Hero and House of Flying Daggers. As a director, Zhang released over 20 films since debuting with 1987’s Red Sorghum. He was also chosen to direct the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics.

In late 2013, Zhang made headlines around the world when he admitted that he and his wife had potentially violated China’s one-child policy. The Associated Press reported that Zhang had fathered seven children with four different women. The South China Morning Post reported that based on Zhang’s estimated annual earnings of $14 million and so considered one of the richest film directors in the world.

Final Words

In conclusion, this is all about today’s topic. Hope you enjoy the reading. I tried my utmost to make this article informative based on different authentic sources and statistics. Despite, If you are more enthusiastic to learn about different film topic, keep your eyes on my upcoming articles. Fun read 🙂

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