Battle of Movie Gods: Hollywood’s Biggest Directors Square-Off on Forbes


Image from insidespelman.com

While Oprah took the top-earning spot, bringing in an estimated $165 million in the last year, she was followed by a impending slew of directors and legendaries, like “Transformers” director Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg, who pulled in an estimated $160 million and $130 million between May 2011 and May 2012.

However, there are also a number of recognizable names on the list who are the top paid celebrities who only direct films to make a healthy living. While this may not come as a shock, the fact the film industry has seen dwindling profits over the past few years makes these wealthy film directors even more impressive: they’ve somehow managed to be the most wealthy celebrities in the world in an industry that appears to be struggling on many fonts. Check out the top 5 most wealthy filmmakers listed below and how they made their fortunes and Hollywood names.

Michael Bay
[Image from witneyman.wordpress.com]

Michael Bay

Topping the list of the most wealthy filmmakers is Michael Bay, who known best for his action epics, ranging from “Bad Boys” to “The Rock” to the “Transformer franchise.” His films all look fantastic and are easy and fun to watch, which is why they have such a strong box office draw and have made him the most wealthy of all film directors in the world. The latest film from Michael Bay will be a bit different though. It’s called “Pain and Gain” and will be made for a much smaller, tighter budget than his past Transformer epics.

Steven Spielberg
[Image from culturamas.es]

Steven Spielberg

The legendary director and producer who gave us some of the greatest films in the history of modern Hollywood is second on the list of most wealthy filmmakers in the entertainment business. Much of this is due to the fact that he hasn’t been making films as regularly as he did when he was younger.

Jerry Bruckheimer
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Jerry Bruckheimer

Arguably the greatest producer to ever work in Hollywood, Jerry Bruckheimer is a filmmaker by default due to the numerous incredible films he has helped to bring to theaters all over the world, almost single-handedly changing the types of movies we expect to see. Due to his recent Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and successful television series, Bruckheimer will continue to be a mogul for decades to come.

Tyler Perry
[Image from chicagoist.com]

Tyler Perry

Seemingly rising out of nowhere in the last decade, Tyler Perry has created his own unique style and franchise of filmmaking and television producing, making him one of the richest celebrities in the business, undoubtedly the quickest. There are built in audiences for his low budget films that all make a ton of money at the box office, making him a filmmaking mogul who is here to stay. It will be interesting to see what Perry does next in his already lucrative career, as he seems to be masterful at coming up with homegrown franchises.

George Lucas
[Image from chicagoist.com]

George Lucas

It’s not just Star Wars that has made Lucas one of the most wealthy filmmakers ever, but also his company Industrial Light and Magic, which does a ton of special effects for major films every year, ranging from Battleship to The Avengers. His legacy with Star Wars alone, though, will allow Lucas and his future work, to stay profitable. If anything ever begins to go south for this filmmaking mogul, he only has to produce and direct another trilogy of Star Wars films to launch himself back to the top, or at least near the top, of this list.

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