Netflix has come a long, long way from when it first began. At its onset, the streaming media service only seemed to offer movies that were highly dated, and many questioned whether a membership to the service would be worthwhile or not. However, over time Netflix began to offer newer films and - even better than that – offered a wide selection of television shows that people could binge watch. At that point, Netflix was slowly but surely becoming a staple in homes. However, Netflix’s even bigger win came when it began creating its own original series that people were getting utterly hooked on. The company began producing original content in early 2013 with one of its most sensational hits to date, political drama House of Cards, which allegedly cost about $60 million to create. The success it received from the show backed the notion that it should continue to follow this path for developing new viewer content.
Shockingly to some, these Netflix original series – some extremely popular, and others which have received tepid reviews from critics – are coming in at very high production costs, rivaling even big-spending series like HBO’s Game of Thrones. The company has often remained mum on specifics behind their spending.
According to estimates, here are the 10 most expensive Netflix original series the company has created to date, and some insight into what they’re all about:
10 Between - Around $20M Per Season
9 Bloodline - Around $20M Per Season
8 Narcos - Around $25M Per Season
7 The Crown - Around $25M Per Season
6 Marvel’s Daredevil - $40M Per Season
Daredevil is another on the list of expensive Netflix original series. It’s thought the series cost about $40 million to produce per season. The show is centered on Matt Murdock, also known as the Daredevil, who is a lawyer by day, but also fights crime as his alter ego. The series, which is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, focuses on the character’s early days of fighting crime. It is filmed in New York City, and is intended to show the character fighting crime in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood (though filming takes places in spots elsewhere in the city). Daredevil premiered in April 2015 and was renewed for a second season to be released next year. Overall, people have loved the show. Aside from being nominated for a variety of prestigious awards, it also received a 98% approval rating on the often-harsh review website, Rotten Tomatoes.
5 Orange Is The New Black - Around $50M Per Season
4 Hemlock Grove - Around $50M Per Season
3 House Of Cards - Around $60M Per Season
2 Marco Polo - $90M Per Season
1 Sense8 - Over $100M To Produce
Once again, while it is difficult to determine the exact cost to create each season of the series without a figure from Netflix executives, it’s estimated Sense8 runs at somewhere between $100 million to $200 million per season. This estimation is based on a quote from Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, who has said, “from a budget standpoint and a running time, it’s every bit as big, if not bigger, than their feature films.” Here, he is referring to the films Jupiter Ascending, which cost $176 million to make, and Cloud Atlas, which cost $102 million to make. If the CCO’s quote is to be believed, the series would fall right in that high $100 million range. As background, the series is classified as a science fiction drama, and is focused on eight strangers from different parts of the world who suddenly become linked, both mentally and emotionally. The show’s name is a play on the word “sensate,” which means perceiving or perceived by the senses. Sense8’s first season became available on Netflix on June 5 of this year, and it has already been announced that there will be a second season.
Sources: BusinessInsider.com; CinemaBlend.com; Variety.com
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