Favorite Top Box Office Grossing Female Director?

by urbanemovies | created - 02 Dec 2018 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

As of 15 March 2019, these female and transgender female movie directors are among the highest all-time domestic box office career earners. All these women have cumulative lifetime box office totals between $80 million and $715 million and rank among Box Office Mojo's Top 501 Directors in domestic box office ticket sales.

Which of these select trail-blazing top box office grossing female directors is your personal favorite?

Cast your vote here or Discuss the topic here.

1. Lana Wachowski

Writer | The Matrix

Lana Wachowski and her sister Lilly Wachowski, (also known as 'The Wachowskis') are the duo behind ground-breaking movies such as The Matrix (1999) and Cloud Atlas (2012). Born to mother Lynne, a nurse, and father Ron, a businessman of Polish descent, Wachowski grew up in Chicago and formed a tight...

Lana Wachowski's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: The Matrix Reloaded $281.6m

#84 Box Office Mojo Totals

2. Lilly Wachowski

Writer | The Matrix

Director, writer and producer Lilly Wachowski was born in 1967 in Chicago as Andrew Wachowski, the son of Lynne, a nurse and painter and Ron, a businessman. Lilly was educated at Kellogg Elementary School in Chicago, before moving on to Whitney Young High School. After graduating from high school, ...

Lilly Wachowski's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: The Matrix Reloaded $281.6m

#84 Box Office Mojo Totals

3. Nancy Meyers

Writer | It's Complicated

Nancy Meyers was born on December 8, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Nancy Jane Meyers. She is a writer and producer, known for It's Complicated (2009), Something's Gotta Give (2003) and The Holiday (2006). She was previously married to Charles Shyer.

Nancy Meyers's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: What Women Want $182.8m

#105 Box Office Mojo Totals

4. Betty Thomas

Self | Howard Stern

Betty Thomas was born July 27, 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating from Ohio University with a BA in fine arts. Initially sidetracked, Betty first taught school in Chicago but found herself restricted and needing more of an open forum for self-expression than a classroom. She found herself drawn...

Betty Thomas's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 $219.6m

#126 Box Office Mojo Totals

5. Nora Ephron

Writer | Julie & Julia

Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...

Nora Ephron's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Sleepless in Seattle $126.7m

#138 Box Office Mojo Totals

6. Patty Jenkins

Director | Wonder Woman

Patty Jenkins is a writer/director best known for directing Wonder Woman, the Warner Bros./DC Comics blockbuster of 2017, and her debut feature Monster. Patty also works in television where she is best known for the pilot and finale episode of AMC's hit show The Killing.

Patty began her career as a ...

Patty Jenkins's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Wonder Woman $412.6m

#168 Box Office Mojo Totals

7. Vicky Jenson

Director | Shrek

Vicky Jenson's career spans more than two decades in both animation and live action, and crosses the spectrum from TV to feature films to shorts including a commercial campaign for Old Navy of more than 40 spots with Anonymous Content and was at that time the only female feature film director they ...

Vicky Jenson's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Shrek $267.7m

#173 Box Office Mojo Totals

8. Penny Marshall

Actress | Laverne & Shirley

Penny Marshall was born Carole Penny Marshall on October 15, 1943 in the Bronx, New York. The Libra was 5' 6 1/2", with brown hair and green eyes. She was the daughter of Marjorie (Ward), a tap dance teacher, and Anthony "Tony" Marshall, an industrial film director. She was the younger sister of ...

Penny Marshall's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Big $115.0m

#187 Box Office Mojo Totals

9. Jennifer Lee

Writer | Frozen

Jennifer Lee was born on October 22, 1971 in Barrington. Rhode Island, USA as Jennifer Michelle Rebecchi. She is known for her work on Frozen (2013), Frozen II (2019) and Wreck-It Ralph (2012).

Jennifer Lee's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Frozen $400.7m

#190 Box Office Mojo Totals

10. Amy Heckerling

Writer | Clueless

Amy Heckerling studied Film and TV at New York University and got a Masters Degree in Film from The American Film Institute. Despite this education she couldn't get a break in Hollywood. However, in 1982, she made Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), and people started to take notice. In 1985, ...

Amy Heckerling's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Look Who's Talking $140.1m

#198 Box Office Mojo Totals

11. Anne Fletcher

Director | The Proposal

Anne Fletcher was born on May 1, 1966 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She is known for her work on The Proposal (2009), Step Up (2006) and Hairspray (2007).

Anne Fletcher's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: The Proposal $164.0m

#199 Box Office Mojo Totals

12. Brenda Chapman

Writer | Brave

Brenda Chapman was born on November 1, 1962 in Beason, Illinois, USA. She is known for her work on Brave (2012), The Prince of Egypt (1998) and The Lion King (1994). She is married to Kevin Lima. They have one child.

Brenda Chapman's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Brave $237.3m

#214 Box Office Mojo Totals

13. Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Director | Kung Fu Panda 2

Jennifer Yuh Nelson was born on May 7, 1972 in South Korea. She is known for her work on Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Todd McFarlane's Spawn (1997) and Kung Fu Panda (2008).

Jennifer Lee's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Kung Fu Panda 2 $165.2m

#225 Box Office Mojo Totals

14. Catherine Hardwicke

Director | Twilight

Catherine Hardwicke was born on October 21, 1955 in Cameron, Texas, USA as Helen Catherine Hardwicke. She is a director and production designer, known for Twilight (2008), Thirteen (2003) and Lords of Dogtown (2005).

Catherine Hardwicke's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Twilight $192.8m

#233 Box Office Mojo Totals

15. Penelope Spheeris

Director | Suburbia

Spheeris is often referred to as a 'rock 'n roll anthropologist'.

In 1974 she formed the first Los Angeles music video production company, ROCK 'N REEL. She concluded her music video work with the Grammy-nominated, "Bohemian Rhapsody" video for "Wayne's World". Spheeris' feature film debut was the ...

Penelope Spheeris's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Wayne's World $121.7m

#260 Box Office Mojo Totals

16. Kathryn Bigelow

Director | The Hurt Locker

A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...

Kathryn Bigelow's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Zero Dark Thirty $95.7m

#290 Box Office Mojo Totals

17. Mimi Leder

Director | On the Basis of Sex

Mimi Leder was born on January 26, 1952 in New York City, New York, USA as Miriam Leder. She is a producer and director, known for On the Basis of Sex (2018), The Leftovers (2014) and Deep Impact (1998). She is married to Gary Werntz. They have one child.

Mimi Leder's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Deep Impact $140.5m

#283 Box Office Mojo Totals

18. Elizabeth Banks

Actress | The Hunger Games

Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Mitchell in Pittsfield, a small city in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts near the New York border, on February 10, 1974. She is the daughter of Ann (Wallace), who worked in a bank, and Mark P. Mitchell, a factory worker. Elizabeth describes herself as ...

Elizabeth Banks's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Pitch Perfect 2 $184.3m

#346 Box Office Mojo Totals

19. Sam Taylor-Johnson

Director | Nowhere Boy

Sam Taylor-Johnson was born on March 4, 1967 in London, England as Samantha Louise Taylor-Wood. She is a director and producer, known for Nowhere Boy (2009), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Love You More (2008). She has been married to Aaron Taylor-Johnson since June 21, 2012. They have two ...

Sam Taylor-Johnson's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Fifty Shades of Grey $166.2m

#365 Box Office Mojo Totals

20. Barbra Streisand

Soundtrack | Funny Girl

Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director and producer and one of the most successful personalities in show business. She is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards,...

Barbra Streisand's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: The Prince of Tides $74.8m

#378 Box Office Mojo Totals

21. Ava DuVernay

Producer | Queen Sugar

A director, producer, writer, marketer and film distributor, Ava DuVernay made her feature film debut with the documentary This in the Life (2008), a history on hip hop movement that flourished in Los Angeles in the 1990's. This was followed by series of television music documentaries which ...

Ava DuVernay's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: A Wrinkle in Time $100.5m

#382 Box Office Mojo Totals

22. Martha Coolidge

Director | Valley Girl

Martha Patterson Coolidge was born on August 17, 1946 in New Haven Connecticut. She studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, but changed majors, becoming the first film major at the school. She attended and graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she ...

Martha Coolidge's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Out to Sea $29.0m

#404 Box Office Mojo Totals

23. Angelina Jolie

Actress | Maleficent

Angelina Jolie is an Academy Award-winning actress who rose to fame after her role in Girl, Interrupted (1999), playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), Salt (2010) and Maleficent (2014). Off-screen, Jolie has become ...

Angelina Jolie's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Unbroken $115.6m

#426 Box Office Mojo Totals

24. Niki Caro

Director | Whale Rider

Niki Caro is a New Zealand film director and screenwriter, born in 1967. Caro was born in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. She was educated first at the Kadimah College in Auckland, and then the Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland. The School is a private girls' school, and ranks ...

Niki Caro's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: McFarland, USA $44.5m

#457 Box Office Mojo Totals

25. Beeban Kidron

Director | Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

She came to prominence with the much lauded adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's autobiographical novel 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. Since then she's directed feature films, television dramas and documentaries. In 2008, she founded the charity called Filmclub with Lindsay Mackie. It has since ...

Beeban Kidron's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Bridget Jones 2 $40.2m

#462 Box Office Mojo Totals

26. Sharon Maguire

Director | Bridget Jones's Baby

Sharon Maguire was born on November 28, 1960 in Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales. She is a director and producer, known for Bridget Jones's Baby (2016), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) and Incendiary (2008).

Sharon Maguire's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Bridget Jones's Diary $71.5m

#464 Box Office Mojo Totals

27. Anna Boden

Writer | Half Nelson

Anna Boden is an American film director, cinematographer, editor, and screenwriter best known as the co-writer of the 2006 film Half Nelson. She is known for her collaborations with fellow filmmaker Ryan Fleck. While studying film at NYU, Boden met Ryan Fleck on the set of a student film. Soon they...

Anna Boden's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Captain Marvel $426.8m

#176 Box Office Mojo Totals


added 15 March 2019

28. Phyllida Lloyd

Director | Mamma Mia!

Phyllida Lloyd was born on June 17, 1957 in Bristol, England as Phyllida Christian Lloyd. She is known for her work on Mamma Mia! (2008), The Iron Lady (2011) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018).

Phyllida Lloyd's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Mamma Mia! $144.1m

#NR est. 355 Box Office Mojo Totals
$174.2m

added 15 March 2019

29. Jodie Foster

Actress | The Silence of the Lambs

Jodie Foster was born Alicia Christian Foster on November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond), a producer, and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children...

Jodie Foster's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Money Monster $41.0m

#488 Box Office Mojo Totals

30. Sofia Coppola

Director | Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...

Sofia Coppola's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Lost in Translation $44.6m

#489 Box Office Mojo Totals

31. Mira Nair

Director | Monsoon Wedding

Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...

Mira Nair's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Vanity Fair $16.1m

#491 Box Office Mojo Totals

32. Mary Lambert

Director | Pet Sematary

Mary Lambert was born in 1951 in Helena, Arkansas, USA. She is known for her work on Pet Sematary (1989), Siesta (1987) and Miss South Pacific: Beauty and the Sea (2011). She is married to Jerome Gary.

Mary Lambert's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Pet Sematary $57.5m

#499 Box Office Mojo Totals

33. Gina Prince-Bythewood

Writer | Shots Fired

Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed the widely acclaimed feature film Love & Basketball (2000) which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. She won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and a Humanitas Prize for her work on the film. Her other directing credits include ...

Gina Prince-Bythewood's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: The Secret Life of Bees $37.8m

#501 Box Office Mojo Totals

34. Trish Sie

Director | Pitch Perfect 3

Trish Sie is known for her work on Pitch Perfect 3 (2017), Step Up All In (2014) and OK Go: Upside Down & Inside Out (2016).

Trish Sie's Movie Directorial Resume

Top Box Office Film: Pitch Perfect 3 $104.9m

#425 Box Office Mojo Totals


added 17 August 2019



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