10 Highest-Grossing David Fincher Movies

Following a begin in visible results, David Fincher scored a gig with Industrial Mild & Magic in 1983, working as an assistant digital camera operator on iconic motion pictures Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He quietly co-founded Propaganda Movies in 1986, then turned up the amount by directing music movies for Madonna, The Rolling Stones, and Justin Timberlake. In 1992, he made his function movie debut with Alien 3, an training in big-budget franchises, leading to a choice for making smaller-scale, extra pared-down motion pictures. Along with his spectacular movie catalog, he’s credited with serving as government producer and director of the award-winning Netflix series House of Cards and Mindhunters.

Fincher did not attend movie college and did not must; his collective motion pictures have grossed over 2 billion {dollars} worldwide, incomes 40 Academy Award nominations within the course of. Collaborators and crew members have in contrast his meticulous strategies and method to creating motion pictures to the intricacies of a Swiss watch. Fincher is known for requiring upwards of 90 takes for a single scene, exhausting some actors however making loyal devotees of others like Brad Pitt and Rooney Mara. A confirmed grasp of the psychological thriller, his thorough diligence, and respect for the craft have resulted in a number of the biggest and highest-grossing movies of the 21st Century.

10 ‘Zodiac’ (2007)

Field Workplace: $84.7 million

Picture through Paramount Footage

Armed with a finances of $65 million, Fincher’s atmospheric thriller relies on probably the most notorious unsolved case in American historical past: the Zodiac killer. Cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) joins forces with reporter Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) to search out and clear up the elusive assassin who taunted and terrorized California all through the 60s and 70s. Primarily based on precise occasions, newspaper correspondence, and books written by Graysmith’s accounts as a rogue investigator, the film co-starred Mark Ruffalo as by-the-book lead detectives David Toschi and Anthony Edwards as William Armstrong, and Chloe Sevigny as Graysmith’s spouse, respectively.

Viewers expressed dissatisfaction with Fincher’s ending of the 2-hour, 40-minute tense cat-and-mouse chase, whereas critics applauded the movie. His stylistic digital camera selections and pacing of the film and its gamers mimicked the arduous (and unsuccessful) process of trying to find The Zodiac on the time. Somewhat than profile the slippery serial killer, Fincher took audiences by means of the maddening, typically unattainable labyrinth created, deftly capturing the temper and frustration of the residents, legislation enforcement, and journalists fruitlessly navigating a ship by means of dense, unrelenting fog. For Fincher, the Zodiac had occupied space in his brain since childhood, as a younger boy dwelling in San Anselmo, California, not sure if he or his classmates would grow to be the killer’s subsequent sufferer. In a creepy transfer, Paramount’s advertising workforce fed fears by hanging authentic artist’s renderings of the killer below streetlights in choose cities, merely studying, “In theaters March 2nd.” Although its field workplace numbers weren’t astounding, the film permeated, frequently talked about within the prime 10 all-time most vital movies lists of critics throughout the globe.


Launch Date
March 2, 2007

157 minutes

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9 ‘Struggle Membership’ (1999)

Field Workplace: $101.2 million

A still featuring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in 'Fight Club'
Picture through twentieth Century Fox

Bar cleaning soap had a banner 12 months with the discharge and reception of Fincher’s film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk‘s novel. Many administrators handed on the chance to adapt Fight Club, together with David O. Russell and Danny Boyle, and studio executives unsteadily elevated the movie’s preliminary finances from $23 million to $65 million, impressed after seeing superior copies of dailies spanning three weeks. Palahniuk praised Fincher’s translation of his book, a narrative about an insomniac (an unnamed Edward Norton) dissatisfied along with his life, supplementing remedy by infiltrating varied restoration group conferences and finally morphing into a distinct individual altogether. Underground combating, chaos, a shredded Brad Pitt as alter ego Tyler Durden, and Helena Bonham Carter aided within the success of the violent but stunning movie.

After a screening earlier than its launch, executives had been alarmed by the violence and premise of the film, leading to an extra $20 million promoting marketing campaign within the hopes of recruiting a extra various viewers. Through the theatrical run of Struggle Membership, it grossed an underwhelming $37 million within the U.S., prompting Fincher to supervise the promotion and packaging of the DVD launch. In 2000, his imaginative and prescient was absolutely realized in a two-disk particular version DVD that grew to become one of many largest-selling media objects in twentieth Century Fox’s historical past, grossing over $55 million in rentals and purchases. As probably the most controversial and, subsequently, most talked about motion pictures of the 90s, Fincher tucked one other feather in his illustrious, boundary-extending director’s hat.

Struggle Membership

Launch Date
October 15, 1999


Important Style

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8 ‘The Sport’ (1997)

Field Workplace: $109.4 million

A Man in a white suit in The Game
Picture through Walt Disney Studios Movement Footage

Fincher’s subsequent providing, The Sport, on the heels of the success of Se7en, is a film marketed as a “mystery-thriller,” however at occasions veers in direction of horror. It stars Michael Douglas as a wealthy investment banker with an emotional deficit, Nicholas Van Orton, given a peculiar reward by his estranged brother Conrad (Sean Penn) on his forty eighth birthday. The reward, a voucher for a cerebral, life-altering sport, sends Orton and viewers right into a surreal descent, equally terrifying (clowns once more) and exploratory. True to his aesthetic, Fincher sticks to darkish and cavernous, typically filming at evening, offering an environment that mirrored Orton’s life: chilly and vacant.

The director was allotted $50 million to shoot the movie, grossing over $14 million in its opening weekend. Fincher was praised for his visually beautiful ultimate product and the casting of Douglas, who proved efficient as an Ebeneezer Scrooge-type. He was thrown right into a parallel actuality and compelled to reevaluate his life and the individuals he excluded from it. Critics loved the film, and fans of Fincher’s rally around the sometimes overlooked film, referring to it as his most underrated piece. Finally, it grossed over $109.4 million worldwide and stays undisputed in its means to maintain audiences guessing, every shadowy clue revealing extra questions.

The Sport

Launch Date
September 12, 1997

129 minutes

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7 ‘Alien 3’ (1992)

Field Workplace: $159.8 million

Sigourney Weaver as Ripley and a Xenomorph in 'Alien 3'
Picture through twentieth Century Studios

Selecting up the place James Cameron‘s sequel, Aliens, left off, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has crash-landed on Florina 161, a wasteland populated by inmates of a most safety jail…and the alien. Unarmed and unequipped to struggle, Ripley makes an attempt to avoid wasting the inmates (a few of whom attempt to kill her) with out success, studying within the course of that she is carrying an alien fetus. The film was troubled earlier than it was recorded on movie, with Fincher inheriting a contrived mess; too many rewrites, concepts, and a skeletal script leading to a superbly rendered collage as an alternative of the follow-up to Aliens followers had been ready for. twentieth Century Fox unsuccessfully scrambled to recapture what started with Ridley Scott and Cameron on the helm. As an alternative, inventive selections had been made in direct battle with the unique trajectory of the story, eternally altering character potentialities for Alien Resurrection.

Having spent $7 million on rewrites and administrators earlier than manufacturing started, the finances for the third franchise installment was $50 million. The film did not carry out effectively in North America; nonetheless, the worldwide field workplace totals surpassed the earlier Alien installment, incomes $159.8 million. Whereas this was a monetary win for the studio, it was a inventive failure for Fincher, who has mentioned of the ultimate product, “Nobody hated it greater than me,” blaming the producers for not trusting his imaginative and prescient. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave Alien 3 two thumbs down, uninterested in the alien’s repetitive chase sequences and absolute energy. Although followers and critics had been initially laborious on Fincher’s iteration, the appraisal of the film has shifted to an appreciation for the director’s items as a filmmaker. Finally, Alien 3 was nominated for an Academy Award for Finest Visible Results, seven Saturn awards, and a Hugo Award for Finest Dramatic Presentation; nominations reserved for excellence and achievement, not failure.

Alien 3

Launch Date
Could 22, 1992

114 minutes

Watch on Hulu

6 ‘Panic Room’ (2002)

Field Workplace: $206.9 million

Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart in Panic Room

Jodie Foster was the face of Fincher’s fifth movie, the action-packed dwelling invasion blockbuster co-starring a young Kristen Stewart as Foster’s daughter and Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, and Dwight Yoakam because the hopeful burglars. Just lately divorced Meg Altman (Foster) and daughter Sarah (Stewart) transfer into an expansive New York Metropolis brownstone containing a panic room put in by the earlier proprietor, a reclusive millionaire. The rich man left behind priceless bearer bonds positioned in a ground protected of the domicile, and his grandson, Junior (Leto), goals to repossess the paperwork by any means needed. Junior enlists fellow brothers-in-theft, Burnham (Whitaker) and Raoul (Yoakam), and breaks into the brownstone on Meg and Sarah’s first evening.

Vigilance is the film’s theme, explored through dwelling surveillance and thru daughter Sarah’s diabetic glucometer, fueling viewers rigidity and apprehension because the robbers infiltrate the house. Vigilance may also be Fincher’s center title (it is not; it is Leo), because the director micromanaged each inch of manufacturing on the $6 million soundstage (one thing director Steven Soderbergh cautioned him from doing), organising over 2,000 completely different digital camera pictures in his infamous meticulous inventive course of. The consequence was an impressively taut thriller, although manufacturing and filming setbacks had been aplenty. With a finances of $48 million, the film would grow to be the most important debut over the Easter vacation weekend and herald a large $206.9 million worldwide, leaving little room to doubt Fincher’s credibility as a moneymaker for studios.

Panic Room

Launch Date
March 29, 2002


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5 ‘The Social Community’ (2010)

Field Workplace: $224.9 million

Picture through Sony

Primarily based on the 2009 ebook by Ben Mezrich, The Unintended Billionaires, The Social Community tells the origin story of Fb. Founder Mark Zuckerberg was introduced by means of Jesse Eisenberg through an Aaron Sorkin dialogue-heavy script (which Eisenberg facilitated shortly along with his auctioneer-adjacent verbal functionality). Elaborations had been made, and emotions had been harm after the film’s launch, however what Fincher obtained proper was creating an environment thick with misogyny but effervescent with the unmistakable pleasure of discovery. Sorkin’s Academy Award-winning screenplay and gifted actors performing it, coupled with Fincher’s intimate and tonal course, would’ve been sufficient to provide a noteworthy movie, however there’s extra! Atticus Ross and 9-Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor got here aboard to compose an Academy Award-winning, synergetic rating, uniting the movie’s elements like pores and skin and bone.

The film went on to earn eight Academy Award nominations, dominate the 68th Golden Globes, and was heavily favored by critics worldwide. It earned $22.4 million in its opening weekend, claiming the primary spot and remaining there the next weekend. Unable to shoot the movie on-site at Harvard, the crew arrange store on two campuses in Massachusetts, Phillips, and Milton Academy, utilizing the campus at Johns Hopkins College to simulate the Harvard really feel. Fincher was given a finances of $40 million and parlayed that right into a ultimate theatrical gross of $224.9 million, with dwelling video efficiency numbers reaching $34 million. The numbers achieved by the film had been a end result of artists working on the prime of their sport in an exciting feat of cinematic exploration and mastery. Zuckerberg is likely to be a billionaire, however audiences had been enriched by the expertise Fincher supplied.

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4 ‘The Lady with the Dragon Tattoo’ (2011)

Field Workplace: $232.8 million

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movie
Picture through Sony Footage Releasing

A thriller primarily based on the novel by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, The Lady with the Dragon Tattoo follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), employed to solve the 40-year-old disappearance and likely murder of a rich industrialist’s (Christopher Plummer) niece, in alternate for proof Blomkvist must clear his title in a libel go well with. Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a proficient, monosyllabic hacker, joins Blomkvist in his seek for the lacking lady. Fincher has admitted to a choice for tales that unfold within the grotesque underbelly of society, perpetrated by probably the most polluted souls, so Larsson’s rape-revenge caper packaged in ink-black shadows and a chilly panorama was a prophecy fulfilled. Claustrophobic settings are Fincher staples, and the director deploys the stark Swedish setting to incite the acquainted feeling of confinement because the characters discover themselves sequestered on an island; audiences aren’t going anyplace anyway.

Casting Mara was a coup; she is spellbinding as Salander, leaning into a personality lesser actors would wrestle to embody. By way of Fincher’s storytelling and Mara’s artistry, Larsson’s message of cyclical violence in opposition to ladies is conveyed with a mixture of brute drive and nuance and is rarely uninteresting. In Fincher vogue, the working time extends to 2 hours and 38 minutes, however viewers do not feel it due to skillful pacing, Mara, and ingenious enhancing. Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor, and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs launched the film with a cold-as-ice opening sequence, and it simply obtained higher from there with Fincher steering the Swedish automobile the one means he is aware of how: precision. The movie had a staggering $90 million finances and debuted as a Christmas day launch, incomes $12 million over the vacation weekend in North America. It continued to underperform, labeling it a field workplace failure. Varied theories about why the film did not carry audiences to the yard included poor advertising, the R ranking, and lack of star energy. Both means, Fincher did not disappoint.

Watch on Paramount+

3 ‘Se7en’ (1995)

Field Workplace: $327.3 million

Picture through New Line Cinema

Within the first of many collaborations with Fincher, the film stars Brad Pitt as a newly transferred detective, David Mills, who’s partnered with seasoned detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) as they work on a serial homicide case with non secular overtones. Somerset scrambles to outpace the killer by diving for solutions hidden in historic texts, to no avail. Ultimately, the detectives notice they’re items within the assassin’s vignette, successfully preached to because the killer presents every sufferer responsible of sinning, displayed within the method through which they’ve sinned. Stylistically, it’s a marvel; Fincher created a prolifically dismal world replete with copious quantities of seen and imagined horror, intensifying because the detectives uncover physique after violated physique, culminating in an ending that had everybody speaking.

Harsh yellow lighting, if any, lights the way in Fincher’s most bleak image, bringing the viewers deeper into the abyss alongside the detectives. Moreover, near-constant rain provides to the unrelenting weight of burden assigned to Somerset and Mills; conversely, it is also interpreted biblically as a cleaning of sin. Viewers with delicate stomachs apart, the film was an enormous success, attaining cult standing and changing into a fan favourite each then and now. Fincher was allowed a finances of $33 million to movie Se7en, which introduced in a ridiculous $327.2 million and remained within the primary field workplace spot for 4 weeks. Critics embraced the film, and it was (not surprisingly) nominated for an Academy Award for movie enhancing. Se7en was a teachable second in cinema, urging filmmakers and future showrunners to delve deeper into what’s attainable or palatable, eternally altering the panorama of human behavioral exploration.


Launch Date
September 22, 1995

Brad Pitt , Morgan Freeman , gwyneth paltrow , R. Lee Ermey , Daniel Zacapa

127 minutes

Watch on Max

2 ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ (2008)

Field Workplace: $335.8 millionBrad Pitt in 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'

Credited as a romantic fantasy drama, the generally devastating story follows Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt), a child born in reverse, housed in an aged physique. The 12 months is 1918, and Benjamin is born to a lady perplexed by her kid’s medical anomaly, so she leaves him on the porch of a nursing dwelling in New Orleans. He’s found and raised by the caretaker of the nursing dwelling, Queenie (Taraji P. Henson), the place he inexplicably grows youthful 12 months after 12 months. Benjamin meets Daisy (Cate Blanchett), a dancer, and falls in love. Nonetheless, Benjamin’s carapace does not align along with his age, so the pair have interaction in a mismatched dance, wishing for a day when their outward ages are in line. Loosely primarily based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald and tailored right into a screenplay by Eric Roth, the expansive epic unfurls, festooned with enchantment aided by the other-worldly backdrop of New Orleans.

Echoing the dimensions of Benjamin Button’s journey, Fincher had $150 million to make sure that Benjamin’s story was dropped at life by means of his distinct imaginative and prescient. The director wrapped the film in below 3 hours, presenting it to audiences for a large Christmas Day opening in 2008. Totals that opening weekend reached $26.8 million, a profitable begin that may conclude with $335.8 million in field workplace gross sales. Audiences weren’t the one ones who beloved the movie; throughout the awards season, Fincher’s work garnered a gargantuan whole of 160 nominations. The Academy Awards bestowed 13 nominations, together with Finest Director and Finest Image, and the film took dwelling Oscars for Finest Make-up, Finest Visible Results, and Finest Artwork Course, respectively. The mass attraction of the charming story endures in a means that solely magical motion pictures can. If followers discover themselves in New Orleans, a strolling tour of the place Fincher’s creation took flight will virtually definitely assure a glimpse of that lingering magic.

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1 ‘Gone Lady’ (2014)

Field Workplace: $369.3 million

Picture through twentieth Century Studios

Gone Girl is an modern psychological thriller written by Gillian Flynn, writer of the 2012 best-selling novel of the identical title. The film stars Rosamund Pike because the slippery Amy Dunne, spouse of Nick Dunne, performed by Ben Affleck, and options Carrie Coon as Nick’s twin sister, Margo. Audiences are launched to Amy within the story’s first half by means of journal entry flashbacks as a result of Amy is lacking and Nick is the prime suspect. Pike is superb, morphing into Amy effortlessly. Missi Pyle nailed it as a “Nancy Grace sort” TV host, and Kim Dickens can be notable because the lead detective within the dizzying case, discrediting purple herrings like whack-a-mole. Misdirection and elaborate ciphers maintain viewers on their toes, and the brilliance of Fincher lies in his means to seize and ship that feeling regardless of the film’s plot being accessible to viewers members for 2 years.

Flynn wrote a compelling and unpredictable thriller Hitchcock would envy, with a mixture of comedy and horror of Shakespearean proportions. Fincher utilized his razor-sharp eagle eye and impeccable model to execute Flynn’s story with a sinister flourish, making Gone Lady the highest-grossing movie of his profession. The writing and directing collaboration was a match made in darkness: Flynn and Fincher are most snug exploring the macabre, circling the scabby, picked-on carrion of society, thus making stunning, disturbing artwork. Packed film homes raked in a staggering $369.3 million, incomes six occasions the unique finances of $61 million, additional elevating Fincher’s standing in Hollywood. Whereas the director won’t be fiscally targeted, these extraordinary field workplace returns present area for the artist to entertain followers who’ve confirmed they’re going to present up. Simply maintain resetting these takes, David.

Gone Girl

Launch Date
October 3, 2014

149 minutes

Rent on Amazon

Subsequent:All David Fincher Movies, Ranked by Intensity

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