How much have Netflix’s most expensive TV shows and movies cost?
Actress Mélanie Laurent of Inglourious Basterds fame has joined the cast for Michael Bay’s new Netflix-backed film, Six Underground, with the actress set to star alongside Ryan Reynolds, Dave Franco, Corey Hawkins, Adria Arjona, Manuel García-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, and Lior Raz.
Although plot details are being kept under wraps, the genre is action and the script is being penned by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. We also know that it’s Netflix’s biggest production to date, with a budget of around $150 million. The cast is packed and so is the budget – looks like Netflix is digging deep into its pockets for this one.
Not that this is particularly surprising. The streaming giant has gone from strength to strength over the years, having reached the 130 million subscriber mark and enjoying exponential revenue growth over the past year. As such, Netflix has a helluva lotta cash to splash on hot content – just check out some of its most expensive TV shows and movies to date.
The Crown (2016 – )
With a price tag fit for a queen, The Crown cost Netflix $130 million per season, earning it the reputation as the most expensive show ever made. (It’s not, but it’s definitely close).
Not only did this film cost Netflix $90 million, but it also cost Will Smith a blemish on his resume. For such a hefty budget, it’s a shame this overambitious sci-fi fantasy just wasn’t all that good. Womp, womp.
The Get Down (2016 – 2017)
Many people were disappointed that Netflix cancelled Baz Luhrmann’s music-driven drama The Get Down after just one season, especially since it clearly had so much more story to tell.
However, it’s kinda understandable when you take into consideration the fact that a number of financial and production issues cost Netflix approximately $120 million and thus made it one of the most expensives show ever made. That’s a price tag most networks can’t get down with.
The Irishman (2019)
Martin Scorsese‘s latest gangster creation starring Hollywood heavyweights Robert De Niro and Al Pacino has already exceeded its $100 million, with some sources telling Deadline that the budget has skyrocketed past the $140 million mark as principal photography nears its end. Yikes. Scorsese is definitely not a cheap date.
Sense8 (2015 – 2018)
The stunningly diverse sci-fi from the Wachowskis enjoyed two very expensive seasons (as well as a two-hour finale special) on the streaming giant, costing approximately $9 million per episode. Apparently the reason for such high production costs was because of the many locations in which it was filmed.
Although as one fan pointed out, “Yes, it was pretty expensive and a nightmare from a production perspective (all those locations), but Netflix can afford it, for three lifetimes.” Good point!
The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
At $60 million, this is definitely not the most expensive production on this list. That said, it’s Adam Sandler at his most offensively irritating, meaning The Ridiculous 6 cost Netflix approximately $60 million more than it should have.
Marco Polo (2014 – 2016)
Apparently, Marco Polo was supposed to be our next Game of Thrones type obsession, but instead it turned out to be a total yawnfest. It also cost Netflix a whopping $90 million per season (for a show that made a $200 million loss).
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
As the third movie in the incredibly loose Cloverfield trilogy, Netflix played a total wildcard with The Cloverfield Paradox by taking it off Paramount Pictures’s hands for “north of $50 million”. We thought the threequel was kinda wack, as did pretty much everyone else who inevitably watched the film after its unexpected straight-to-stream release.
Not that it mattered to Netflix though. As The Verge pointed out: “For Netflix . . . viewership numbers (which the company still keeps secret) never seem to matter as much as publicity, notoriety, and staying at the center of the ongoing cultural conversation.”
House of Cards (2013 – 2018)
The Netflix MVP cost the streamer $100 million for its first two seasons. While these figures were worth the cost to begin with, Netflix ultimately made a $39 million loss earlier this year, which many suggested was a result of the firing of Kevin Spacey following the number of sexual misconduct allegations made against him.
Though Netflix didn’t mention the scandal outright, its earnings report outlined a charge of $39 million due to “unreleased content we’ve decided not to move forward with.”