Spielberg’s Successes: Is Your Favorite on the List?

Gage Skidmore
Steven Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946.

Steven Spielberg is statistically the most successful filmmaker of all time. With an estimated worldwide box office of ten billion dollars, he has become the highest-grossing film director since February 2023. Spielberg has played a significant role in the new Hollywood era and has proven to be a stellar role model for the modern-day blockbuster. He has an unmatched ability to connect with audiences through his films and make viewers feel like they are part of the action. Spielberg has written, directed, and/or produced some of the most iconic films in cinema history. Below is an in-depth analysis of some of these films and why Spielberg’s creations were so successful.

“Jurassic Park” is one of the most well-known movies directed by Spielberg. This one-of-a-kind film draws in the audience with computer-generated graphics and makes viewers feel as if what they are watching is real life. “Jurassic Park” introduced the concept of prehistoric creatures sharing the screen with human actors as well as evolutionary notions of nature such as survival of the fittest and learned respect for all creatures. The dinosaur-action film was the most financially successful movie directed by Spielberg bringing in over one billion dollars worldwide.

The second most popular movie of Spielberg’s box office successes came from a more personal place. “E.T.” is about an extraterrestrial character who’s wandered far from home and eventually finds friendship, comfort, and security in a home on Earth that only a family can provide. Spielberg thought of the film’s concept and began generating ideas for the movie as a young adult in 1960 after his parents divorced. Between personal connections, emotional portrayal, and the use of detailed animatronics which took three months to build, “E.T.” captured the hearts of many. The film raised almost $36.8 million altogether.

According to Hannah Godshall, a film teacher at Pennridge High School, the best movies consist of specific essential components. These essentials are solid stories, visuals, cameras, colors, and lighting. To keep an audience entertained, films must be “believable but unbelievable.” Godshall describes Spielberg’s movies as fun and adventurous stating, “You know you’re going to see something fun and entertaining.” She also believes that a good marketing scheme and viral campaigns can contribute to the success of a film. When a trailer or advertisement for a movie is released, Godshall noted that directors and producers should “constantly keep it in the public mind.”

Some of Spielberg’s biggest hits were team accomplishments. Perhaps his most well-known film partner was George Lucas. Lucas, the founder of Lucasfilm, is most famous for the “Star Wars” series which Spielberg helped produce. Together, Lucas and Spielberg also directed and produced “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as well as the rest of the “Indiana Jones” series. The most successful “Indiana Jones” movie was “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” The film brought in just under $36.8 million. The “Indiana Jones” series was Spielberg’s second most successful film series behind “Jurassic Park”. Lucas and Spielberg made an impressive duo in modernizing Hollywood with action-packed adventure series, computer-generated special effects, and more, and the box office numbers speak for themselves.

Other movies that helped give Spielberg his name include “Jaws” (1975), “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), “Ready Player One” (2018), and “War of the Worlds” (2005). The Ohio native has won three Oscars, four Emmys, and four Golden Globes. Throughout his career in the film industry, Spielberg has totaled just over 300 award nominations and about 200 wins overall. His most well-known movies have led to unlimited merchandise, fanbases, and amusement parks, creating a global name for himself. Steven Spielberg will go down in Hollywood history as the most successful American film director, writer, and producer of the modern age. His creations will entertain and inspire audiences for generations to come.