Netflix Reportedly Spent $30 Million An Episode For The Fourth Season Of “Stranger Things”
The fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things will be released in two parts: the first part comes out on May 27, and the second on July 1. Netflix probably decided to split the episodes in an attempt to build anticipation. But knowing what we reportedly know now about how much Netflix spent on the fourth season of Stranger Things, my guess is they were staggering the episodes so they had enough time to float some checks to whoever needed to get paid those $30 million they allegedly blew on each episode. Because yes, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, that’s exactly how much Netflix paid for each – EACH! – episode of the fourth season.
According to a report from Variety from 2017, it cost $6 million per episode to make the first season of Stranger Things. Six million an episode sounds like a lot, but then I remembered how expensive hairspray is, and figured they probably went through a lot to achieve such period-specific hair height. But $6 million sounds like a handful of change and a pocket full of wishes compared to what Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers needed for the fourth season. via Complex:
In an extensive new report from the Wall Street Journal headlined “Netflix, Facing Reality Check, Vows to Curb its Profligate Ways,” sources close to the streaming giant said the highly anticipated fourth season “has a per-episode cost” of $30M. Season 4 will feature nine episodes split across two volumes, which would mean the total production budget could be as high as $270 million.
The Wall Street Journal notes that if the $30 million per episode estimate is accurate and true, then the $270 million season is more expensive than Game of Thrones, which reportedly spent $15 million per episode during its final season. But it’s a lot less than the reported $465 million that Amazon spent on the first season of their upcoming Lord of the Rings series. As for movies, to put it in perspective, Spider-Man: No Way Home reportedly cost $200 million to make, and it went on to gross nearly $1.9 billion worldwide. So, money well spent. The Wall Street Journal also points out that it’s not known if the production costs on the latest season of Stranger Things has anything to do with COVID restrictions, which could have affected the operating budget. Regardless, in case you missed the trailer, here’s what an estimated $270 million TV series looks like, and I’ll be real honest here: I’ve seen scarier production values in that episode of Punky Brewster where they summon the haunted spirit in the cave.
This news is made all the more insane when you remember that it was revealed just a few days ago that Netflix has lost a reported 200,000 subscribers, and that they’re expected to lose 2 million more in the next quarter. Okay, or – hear me out – stop blowing millions and millions of dollars on nine episodes of Stranger Things. There’s no need! The show is set in the 1980s! Go to the local Goodwill, grab the whole wardrobe for about $200, nab a couple old steel blue Buick station wagons on Craigslist for about $500 each, if they really need to sell the whole vibe, pick up one of those brown and yellow plaid couches for ambiance. And if they really want to sell the 80s aesthetic, keep all the CGI as low-budget as possible. Nobody is going to care if it’s giving ColecoVision.