A film director receives an average salary of about $71,216 per year, as stated by PayScale. A director's earnings can vary from year to year, depending on the projects he takes.
Film directors specialize in directing movies for theater and television. Directors have to build up their reputation, sometimes writing and directing smaller films to get critical acclaim, as stated by Salary.com. Once studios and producers see that directors have the skills to manage and complete successful films, they start getting bigger, better paying films.
Directors, even long-time veterans, may earn millions of dollars on one film and the next year earn nothing. However, this doesn't mean the director is not working. He may decide to take on a charity project or work for a low-budget film that has a lot of potential.