Top 20 Grossing Box Office Composers

Since the introduction of sound to movies, the film’s music and score have become an essential part of the movie experience. When a score works well, it communicates that which is unspoken, it tells us the mood, it foreshadows, it tells us what the world sounds like, and it sets the tone and feel for the film.

Unlike a soundtrack (a selection of recorded songs accompanying a film), a film score is original music written by a composer hired for the production and almost always includes an orchestra or group of musicians. The music heightens the film’s emotion and transports moviegoers into the cinematic world on the big screen.

So, who are the top-grossing film composers at the worldwide box office? Here’s the top 20 list, as listed by

20        Steve Jablonsky – $6.9 billion

19        Randy Newman – $6.9 billion

18        Heitor Pereira – $7.2 billion   

17        Marco Beltrami – $7.4 billion 

16        Alexandre Desplat – $8.9 billion        

15        Thomas Newman – $9.5 billion          

14        Harry Gregson-Williams – $10.1 billion

13        John Debney – $10.4 billion   

12        Howard Shore – $10.6 billion

11        Henry Jackman – $10.7 billion

10        Christophe Beck – $11.4 billion

9          Brian Tyler       $12.6 billion   

8          James Horner – $13.9 billion  

7          John Powell – $14.3 billion     

6          Danny Elfman – $17.9 billion 

5          Alan Silvestri – $18.8 billion

4          James Newton Howard – $19.3 billion

         Michael Giacchino – $21.8 billion      

2          John Williams – $25.5 billion  

         Hans Zimmer – $31.8 billion  

Bring Class Act to Your School Today!

Don’t miss this opportunity to bring Class Act to your elementary school! The Frieda Belinfante Class Act Program connects Pacific Symphony to a select number of elementary schools each year. Class Act strives to enhance existing school music programs by providing additional musical experience through the Symphony. Focusing on six main “contact points” with schools, the program works to increase awareness of and involvement with symphonic music for elementary school students, their families, and educators.

Class Act lesson at partner school.

Each year, students form a relationship with a new Symphony musician who serves as a “Class Act teaching artist,” through activities including classroom lessons, ensemble performances, and scripted presentations. Schools that select the Level II Class Act experience also enjoy either a Youth Concert for older students or an Interactive Performance for younger students. All activities feature the music of the Class Act Composer of the Year.

Click here for applications and additional information on Class Act. Applications for the 2022-23 school year are due by 5 p.m. today. Please contact us with any questions.

Welcome to our First popUP Prelude Party!

Put your party hats on! Pacific Symphony is giving donors, subscribers, and patrons a taste of our Pops Season with our first-ever popUP Prelude Party!

Pacific Symphony announced the addition of a special popUP concert on Tues., Oct. 25. Guest conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez curates and hosts this unique “part concert, part party” event that defies traditional classical music presentation with a program of great live music performed by Pacific Symphony in a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. He will offer highlights of the 2022-23 season along with Broadway tunes and the sweeping, cinematic new music of GRAMMY®-nominated singer/songwriter/composer Cody Fry including his viral TikTok hits, “I Hear a Symphony” and “Eleanor Rigby.”

We sat down with our Enrico Lopez-Yañez to talk about this unique concert and his thoughts on what makes a great pops program.

“I’m very excited about this concert,” explained Maestro Lopez-Yañez, the concert’s guest conductor and the principal pops conductor of the Nashville Symphony. 

“This program, in addition to being full of thrilling music, offers a little of bit of something for everyone. It began with the concept of wanting to highlight some of the various genres and programs on the 2022-23 Pops Series. Then, of course, we added a collaboration with an incredible young talent, Cody Fry, a GRAMMY®-nominated singer/songwriter/composer and producer, whom I had the opportunity to work with at the Kennedy Center this past summer.”

Born in the U.S. and of Mexican descent, Lopez-Yañez grew up playing piano, trumpet and drums while traveling around the globe with his family as his father performed in operas. He also performed with his sister and mother in a group called Me and the Kids, even making a self-titled album before beginning his classical music education (he holds a Master’s in Music, and another Master’s in Orchestral Conducting).

Enrico Lopez-Yañez photo by: Liz Ross Cruse

Lopez-Yañez, an immeasurable advocate for music education, is artistic director and co-founder of Symphonica Productions, an organization that curates and leads programs designed to cultivate new audiences. He also arranges and conducts everything from holiday shows to disco, Latin Fire symphony concerts, and collaborations with artists of every genre. 

When asked what makes a good pops program, Lopez-Yañez explained, “A symphony orchestra has the power, more than almost any other group of musicians, to enhance any style of music. A great pops program involves taking an element of familiarity that the audience expects to hear, then creating something truly unique with the addition of the orchestra.

“Put your favorite ‘80s rock, Hip Hop or Frank Sinatra score in front of an orchestra and you can watch it come to life in a one-of-a-kind way because you have 80-plus musicians enhancing the sound and creating something like you’ve never heard before. Not only is it special sonically, but it’s also special visually. Our art form can so beautifully symbolize what we should have a lot more of in this world—many different voices and individual artists coming together to create something collaboratively beyond anything that is possible individually.”

“My aim in programming is much more about having people fall in love with symphonic music. So that doesn’t necessarily mean classical. That just means music in which an orchestra is involved in the music’s creation,” he added.

This leads us back to this evening’s popUP Prelude Party and the talents of this evening’s guest artist and viral sensation, Cody Fry.

“He is one of the few artists today that doesn’t merely add orchestral elements to an existing song but actually composes his music starting from the idea of the symphony as a primary component. That’s what makes him so unique and special,” continued Lopez-Yañez.

“Enrico is a delightful presence on stage and in real life,” explained Cody Fry, “and I’m thrilled to be working with him again. This is a dream collaboration. I’m so excited to showcase my music with Pacific Symphony.”

“What I love about the music industry right now is that there are just no boundaries or rules or genres,” said Fry, when describing the rise of orchestral music on TikTok. “Gen Z, in particular, has broken down all barriers in terms of listening to and enjoying music. They don’t care if Kate Bush was big 30 years ago; they’re just like, this is the first time we’ve heard this, and it’s dope.

“They don’t care if they’re listening to Debussy, Max Richter or John Williams, and they don’t care what year it’s from. Their attitude is, this is great music, and we enjoy it.”

And we know you’ll feel the same about this popUP Prelude Party. Enjoy!

Cody Fry photo by Samuel Cowden