films The 10 Biggest Directors of the 00s  

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This is my analysis of the directors who generated the greatest windfall this decade. The biggest factor here is how much money the director's films made. However, I'm also factoring in the cost of the movies, the subsequent impact of the films, and very importantly: How big the director's contribution was to the film.
James Cameron is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 10 Biggest Directors of the 00s
Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock

He only made 1 real Hollywood movie this decade, so how can he be #1? Well partly of course, that one film has easily grossed the most out of any movie in history, more than doubling any other film produced in this decade. However there's also the matter of how massive his contribution is to that film. He created a brand from scratch, used a word for a name many people have never even heard before, and he didn't rely on movie stars really at all. He's #1, and it's not close. see more on James Cameron
Peter Jackson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 10 Biggest Directors of the 00s
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For pretty much the whole decade, it looked like this relative newcomer to the big time would take the #1 slot. No one's films have grossed more money, and Jackson didn't do it with as big of a budget as you would have thought he did. It still blows my mind that New Line agreed to led him set up Middle Earth, New Zealand, but they did, and he delivered.

Of course, he owes a lot of credit to Tolkien, which is what allows Cameron to surpass him, but not so much credit it makes sense to rate any one else ahead of him. see more on Peter Jackson
Steven Spielberg is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 10 Biggest Directors of the 00s
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The most commercially successful director in history. He had a relatively quiet decade by his standards. No E.T., no Saving Private Ryan. But even a quiet Spielberg trumps all but the most jaw-dropping of performers. see more on Steven Spielberg
George Lucas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 10 Biggest Directors of the 00s
Photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstock

He only directed two films which got a decidedly mixed reception, but they made a ton of money, and there's no disputing that Lucas deserves the vast majority of the cred for that. On the downside, while 15 years ago there was great buzz around the Star Wars franchise, he's now used about all of that up. see more on George Lucas