Netflix is all over the news this month. After it was revealed that the streaming platform had lost 200,000 subscribers this year alone, the budget of the upcoming ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 has been leaked online.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Netflix cuts a check of $30 million for every episode of the upside-down with the majority of the money going towards its star cast and special effects. This got us wondering: what are some of the other shows with a budget that could rival a modern-day comic book movie? Here’s what we found.
Remember back when Netflix was trying to do its version of the Avengers but for TV? Yeah, the audience wasn’t sold on the idea either. The Defenders ,which was supposed to bring together an ensemble cast of popular Marvel characters, who had their TV shows on Netflix (Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist and Luke Cage) failed to resonate with the audience. The result? A loss of $40 million over just one average and short-lived season.
Sense8 was all the rage back in 2015, when it first premiered. Helmed by The Matrix directors, the Wachowskis introduced us to eight strangers from around the world, who are turned into “sensates,” a group of people who are mentally linked with one another and have to survive from being hunted by an evil faction, and others like them.
After a very promising season premiere, the sci-fi drama started losing its audience somewhere around the end of the first season, while still keeping a cult following. Sadly though, it wasn’t enough to justify the immense production costs consisting of on-location shooting in various countries, costing a whopping $9 million per episode. And to everyone’s disappointment, the show was cancelled after the second season.
On the surface, Marco Polo had the potential to become Netflix’s Game of Thrones. And it did somewhat live up to the expectations in its first season, all thanks to Benedict Wong’s iconic portrayal of Mongol emperor Kublai Khan.
The second season though was a different story. Despite a promising plot and breathtaking art design, the show failed to generate the same response as its first season, leading to its cancellation. The final cost of it was $200 million being spent throughout two seasons.
Speaking of shows which haven’t seen the axe (yet), it is safe to say Netflix’s The Witcher is one of the most popular shows out there. This could be because of the fan following the video game and the novels enjoy, or could be because of Henry Cavill’s biceps. Nonetheless, the series is still going strong even with a 67 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating. The supernatural action drama is said to cost around $10 million per episode, which is understandable considering Cavill’s billing and extensive amounts of practical and CGI work.
Created by Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby), The Get Down had everything going for it. It told the story of New York’s rising hip-hop culture in the ’70s from the perspective of a group of teenagers. It is said that Netflix even brought in rappers Grandmaster Flash and Nas to refine the story elements. However, the show failed to create a mark among its audience, leading to its cancellation just after one season, with each episode costing the streaming platform $11 million.
If you’re doing an authentic period drama on Britain’s royal family, you better pack a heavy wallet. Netflix recognised this and greenlit The Crown, with a reported budget of $13 million per episode. With a majority of it going towards the elaborate set designs, costumes and a star-studded cast. Thankfully though, unlike most of the entries on our list, this bet did workout for the streaming platform, with the show garnering rave reviews from both audiences and critics alike.
Netflix’s Stranger Things made its debut in 2016 and it’s gone on to become the streaming platform’s most popular show. No surprise then, the streaming platform has poured in millions and millions of dollars to make the world of upside-down even more terrifying.
According to reports, Netflix spent around $12 million per episode to make the last season. And it seems to have worked, with season three of the show reportedly being tuned in to by 64 million households all over the world! Is it surprising then, that the OTT platform more than doubled the budget for the following season?
Image credits: Netflix