Generally directors do make more than actors, however, it depends on the project. In a lower budget movie, the director will often get a high salary.
But, sometimes for the success of the movie they may bring in an A-list actor that will help them sell the film in which case it can be a very close call.
That being said, when it comes to Hollywood there is generally a fairly solid hierarchy. Producers will make the most money, after them, it will be the Director and then Actors.
This hierarchy can be broken up by writers though, as writers can sometimes demand a $1,000,000 upwards for a script depending on who they are and the views of the production company.
Directors do tend to make more money though across the whole industry, the main reason for this being that actors will only have to work in the production stage of a movie, whereas a director will have to work in pre-production, production, and post-production, they will also have to be there for the shooting of every scene, whereas an actor does not.
How much money does a movie director make a year?
How much money a director makes depends entirely on their level of experience, and what area of the film industry they work in. The average salary for directors can range anywhere from $250,000 to $2,000,000 per project.
A new director will likely earn somewhere between $250,000 to $500,000 per film, whereas a studio director can earn about $1,000,000 per movie.
It then depends on how many movies a director can make in a year, for bigger projects a director may only make a single movie in a year, but for smaller, less production heavy projects they may be able to do more.
Genre is also an important factor, Hollywood movies typically pay more, they get more attention as these are usually much higher budget productions.
Horror movies on the other hand are less heavy, though they still have a higher budget. They are usually easier produced and so a horror director may be able to make 3 times the amount of movies in a year that a Hollywood director can.
This means that the salary for a director depends on many factors of their career.
How do directors get paid?
Much like actors, directors will often have an agent, in the United States of America a director can be a part of the DGA (The Directors Guild of America) and in this case the DGA is involved in the salary and payment of directors. If not, a director can have an agent.
Directors are paid from the studio/ production company who has hired them to direct the movie. Much like an actor, a director is hired to make the movie based on their portfolio of work and their skill set, they are often also hired as recommendation.
It is not uncommon for a director and producer to have worked together in the past and the producer to recommend the director this way.
As a director is hired for the project, they are paid directly by the studio, and the terms and conditions of their payment is handled by their agent or agency that represents them.
So if a director were a member of the DGA, and they were hired by Time Warner, then Time Warner would liaise with the DGA to arrange and pay the director for their work on the film.
A director's salary is often pre-agreed on by the agency and the production company.
Who is the highest paid director in Hollywood?
Take a moment to guess.
It's Steven Spielberg, of course! He is one of the world's most influential directors working in our film industry today.
The craftsman of Jurassic Park, jaws, Indiana Jones, War of the Worlds, back to the Future, The Goonies, and E.T. He has made over 30 films over 6 decades, and he is one of the most incredible directors, having also had the most Oscar wins.
He may be the highest-grossing director of all time, however only one of his many films actually grossed over $1,000,000,000. But his income is exactly as much as you would think, he is a very sought after man in the industry, his net worth is considered to be around $3.6 billion.
He is also the highest grossing director as well at $10 billion. However, James Cameron is not that far behind him. And when it comes to highest grossing directors the Russo Brothers and Peter Jackson follow close behind Spielberg.
But when it comes to how much Spielberg makes in a year, it really shows. Spielberg actually has an annual income of $150,000,000.