Last year’s Stranger Things was as surprise hit. The Netflix show managed to capture all our hearts with an engaging story and wonderful cast of kids, all while exploiting our infinite desire for ‘80s nostalgia. Its blend of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg was the perfect formula for a hit series, and it certainly didn’t hurt that its production value was on par with some of the best cable television.
But how much did it cost, and how much can we expect each episodes to cost for the series to hit the streaming service? In an extensive piece from Variety that analyzed the current arms race of TV budget, they stated that the first season of the horror series cost around $6 million an episode. It’s not a super hefty budget for cable and streaming, but with most networks’ high end shows coming in at about $4.5 million an episode, it’s clear that this one is a couple cuts above that.
Like with most television, with a successful season of TV comes a modest raise in budget, and the outlet goes on to state that in Season 2 of Stranger Things, each episode will cost $8 million, a 33 percent increase from its previous season. While it may not sound like a lot, it’s definitely skewing a lot more on the expensive side of most series.
For reference, episodes of Game of Thrones from around Season 3 to Season 5 cost about $8 million apiece, and two of Netflix’s most expensive shows to date — The Crown and The Get Down — sport north of $10 million an episode.
This definitely puts Stranger Things in pretty expensive company, especially since there are generally a lot less visual effects needed than those other shows. Most of show is based on ’80s-type sets or real locations. In terms of actual visuals, that first season was relatively low-key — at least compared to the others. So for this upcoming second season, either we’ll be seeing a lot of hot demogorgon action going forward, or they’ll be upping the production value in other ways I can’t foresee. Given how great that first season looks already, it’s likely that the stakes and monsters will be upped this time around.
Hopefully it’ll be worth it for Netflix and viewers alike!
Stranger Things Season 2 hits Netflix on October 27, 2017.
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