An innovator of special effects who has been credited with using said effects better for the purpose of the narrative than a lot of other filmmakers, Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis has crafted quite the career over the past 40+ years. Creating a couple of the most iconic movies of all time, Zemeckis has been often criticized but has also been highly acclaimed throughout his career.

One commonality amongst a lot of Zemeckis directed features is that they make quite a lot of money at the box office. Zemeckis is the 11th highest-grossing director worldwide of all time, likely to take back his spot in the top 10 in the coming years. Here are the 10 highest-grossing movies directed by Robert Zemeckis, according to Box Office Mojo.

BEOWULF (2007) - $196,393,745 WORLDWIDE

Beowulf is a movie that is stunning to look at but does not necessarily hold the narrative punch needed to keep it from being style over substance. While it has some fantastic effects and animation, it lacks a soul and heart and is ultimately entertaining enough but just ok.

At the box office, it did do as well as suggested. It opened at $27,515,871 before going on to gross $82,280,579 domestically and $114,113,166 internationally, making its worldwide gross $196,393,745. But, the film’s budget was $150,000,000 and by factoring in marketing, etc. the film did not do amazingly.


The third entry of the iconic Back to the Future trilogy came in the form of its third part which is divisive in that some say it is not as good as the second part while some argue the opposite, nobody though says it as is good as the first. It is simple, concise and a great way to wrap up the trilogy.

The film did well at the box office though from its $40,000,000 budget, earning $19,089,645 opening weekend before going on to gross $88,277583. Internationally the film made $157,86,587, taking its worldwide total to $246,144,250.

WHAT LIES BENEATH (2000) - $291,420,351 WORLDWIDE

Starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford, What Lies Beneath is an overall disappointing movie. It never goes past surface level and drags along its unoriginal narrative in a way that does not leave you wanting more, rather leaves you wanting out.

It did though, do quite well at the box office from a budget of $100,000,00. It scored $29,702,959 opening weekend on its way to a domestic total of $155,464,351 while, internationally, it earned $135,956,000, taking its worldwide total to $291,420,351.

THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004) - $313,500,433 WORLDWIDE

The Polar Express is visually stunning in almost every way but is let down by the animation of the characters whose faces look fake and whose eyes look dead, Tom Hanks’ stellar voice performance could not save its animation though nor the movies weak narrative.

From a big $165,000,000 budget, the film grossed $23,323,463 its opening weekend before grossing a domestic total of $187,224,490. Internationally the movie earned $126,275,943, making its worldwide total £313,500,433 coming from its original run and annual rereleases.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2009) -$325,286,646 WORLDWIDE

Zemeckis’ 3D reimagination of the classic Dickens story received a lukewarm reception upon its release. The visuals have been pointed at as being too much and take away from the performances of people like Gary Oldman, as well as removing from the classical and simplistic nature of the true story, despite being a loyal adaptation.

These effects led to the film costing $200,000,000, opening at $30,051,075 before reaching its domestic total of $137,855,863. Internationally the film did a bit better earning $187,430,783 meaning its worldwide total gross sits at $325,286,646.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a classic which may arguably be Zemeckis’ best film to date, alongside the top 3 of this list. The film is innovative alongside groundbreaking in its mesh of live-action and animation, as well as being massively entertaining, funny, and holds up so well even today after over 30 years since its release.

From its $70,000,000 budget, the film opened at $11,226,239 on route to a $156,452,370 domestic gross which combines with its $173,351,588 international total to make its worldwide gross $329,803,958.


Following the success of the first installment, excitement was at a fever pitch for the follow-up, and while Back to the Future: Part II does not have the same brilliance as the first, it is still a lot of fun with entertainment value for those looking for a fun time, even with a more convoluted narrative.

From its $40,000,000 budget the movie opened at $27,835,125 going on to score $119,000,002 doemstically and $216,881,826 internationally taking its worldwide total gross to$335,881,828 from its original run and 2 rereleases.

BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) - $338,355,305 WORLDWIDE

Nothing beats the original though and when Zemeckis and Spielberg brought the world Back to the Future in 1985 it became a pop culture phenomenon and is genuinely one of those rare movies that are just perfect. It is wildly creative, extremely entertaining, one of the most fun movies you will ever see and perhaps the greatest movie about time travel there is.

With a relatively modest budget of $19,000,000, the film earned an opening weekend of $11,152,500 on route to a $211,159,762 domestic run and a $177,195,543 international gross, both totals coming from the original release and two rereleases making the worldwide total gross $338,335,305.

CAST AWAY (2000) - $429,632,142 WORLDWIDE

Perhaps not as good as Back to the Future, but Cast Away is still a great movie and is probably the most assured direction of Zemeckis’ storied career. The real driving force is, of course, the performance of Tom Hanks in what was one of his most critically and commercially successful roles.

The film’s $90,000,000 budget led to a $28,883,406 opening weekend which kicked off a domestic run that earned $233,632,142, and with an international total of $196,000,000, the film ended up having a worldwide gross of $429,632,142.

FORREST GUMP (1994) - $678,151,134 WORLDWIDE

A film that has earned its fair share of haters over the past couple of years due to its undeserving Oscar win and not aging brilliantly. Nonetheless, Forrest Gump has another brilliant Tom Hanks/Robert Zemeckis team up in a movie that despite its glaring issues and cinematic flaws still comes across as a heartfelt piece that has proved popular for years now.

The movie opened at $24,450,6o2 from its $55,000,000 budget. Domestically, from its original run and two rereleases, it earned £330,445,270, while internationally, from its original run and one rerelease, it $347,695,864 taking its worldwide gross to a total of $678,151,134.