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Steven Spielberg Becomes First Director to Top $10 Billion at Worldwide Box Office

TheWrap logo TheWrap 4/17/2018 Thom Geier
Steven Spielberg wearing a suit and tie © TheWrap steven spielberg

Steven Spielberg has further cemented his reputation as the most commercially successful filmmaker of all time, becoming the first director to ever gross more than $10 billion at the worldwide box office.

His new sci-fi blockbuster "Ready Player One" has racked up $475.1 million worldwide since its release last month, according to BoxOfficeMojo, making the adaptation of Ernest Cline's best-selling novel his top-grossing film in the last decade and nudging him into eight figures in all-time career grosses.

What's more, Spielberg is more than $3 billion ahead of the next director on the all-time box office list: Peter Jackson, whose "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogies propelled him to a lifetime gross of $6,520.7 billion worldwide.

Next up are Michael Bay ($6.451 billion), James Cameron ($6.139 billion) and Harry Potter series filmmaker David Yates ($5.347 billion).

Spielberg's all-time top performer was 1993's "Jurassic Park," which grossed $983.8 million worldwide. That was followed by 2008's critically reviled "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull" ($786.6 million) and the 1982 classic "E.T. - The Extra-terrestrial," which earned $717 million -- without adjusting for inflation.

While Spielberg is credited with shaping much of populist cinema with films like "Jaws" and the Indiana Jones series, many of his biggest hits came at a time before opening weekends were a big deal at the box office.

"Crystal Skull" is his biggest opening weekend ever, and even if you adjust the numbers for inflation, Spielberg only has three films with $100 million-plus openings, the other two being his "Jurassic Park" films.

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