John Young
March 28, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

So your first film is an Oscar darling. Terrific — now, do it again. Every wunderkind director fears the mythic ”sophomore slump” — the second film that proves you’re not a genius after all. Turns out, though, while many sink their second time out, quite a few soar. A scorecard.

Kevin Costner
First Film Dances With Wolves (1990)
Box Office $184.2 million
Oscars 12 noms — 7 wins
Time Gap 7 years
Second Film The Postman (1997)
Box Office $17.6 million
Oscars None

Stephen Daldry
First Film Billy Elliot (2000)
Box Office $22 million
Oscars 3 noms
Time Gap 2 years
Second Film The Hours (2002)
Box Office $41.7 million
Oscars 9 noms — 1 win

Paul Haggis
First Film Crash (2005)
Box Office $54.6 million
Oscars 6 noms — 3 wins
Time Gap 2 years
Second Film In the Valley of Elah (2007)
Box Office $6.8 million
Oscars 1 nom

Sam Mendes
First Film American Beauty (1999)
Box Office $130.1 million
Oscars 8 noms — 5 wins
Time Gap 3 years
Second Film Road to Perdition (2002)
Box Office $104.3 million
Oscars 6 noms — 1 win

Mike Nichols
First Film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Box Office $28 million
Oscars 13 noms — 5 wins
Time Gap 1 year
Second Film The Graduate (1967)
Box Office $104.4 million
Oscars 7 noms — 1 win

Chris Noonan
First Film Babe (1995)
Box Office $63.7 million
Oscars 7 noms — 1 win
Time Gap 11 years
Second Film Miss Potter (2006)
Box Office $3 million
Oscars None

John Singleton
First Film Boyz N the Hood (1991)
Box Office $57.9 million
Oscars 2 nom
Time Gap 2 years
Second Film Poetic Justice (1993)
Box Office $27.5 million
Oscars 1 nom (song)

Joe Wright
First Film Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Box Office $38.4 million
Oscars 4 noms
Time Gap 2 years
Second Film Atonement (2007)
Box Office $50.7 million
Oscars 7 noms — 1 win

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