Netflix: These are the 10 most expensive series and films of all time

Dhe autumn is here, winter is just around the corner. Nothing stands in the way of a cozy streaming evening on the sofa at home. For industry leader Netflix, things are going particularly well right now: thanks to the global success of the Korean format “Squid Game”, for which a second season has just been confirmed, the streaming service has enjoyed increasing subscriber numbers.

In the third quarter, 4.4 million new Netflix viewers came on board. That is 25 percent more than a year earlier. Experts estimate that “Squid Game” alone could generate another seven million viewers by the end of the year. This also has an impact on the stock market: At around 604.40 euros (as of November 22, 2021), the Netflix share price is on the upswing. Good for the audience. Because in this way Netflix can invest even more in exciting productions in the future.

Netflix: These are the ten most expensive film and series productions of all time

Because productions are not that cheap and can quickly devour several hundred million US dollars, as an overview of the most expensive Netflix series and films to date shows. But before we get into the ranking, a question for you:

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10. “6 Underground” (2019 / 129.38 million euros)

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A Michael Bay action film starring Ryan Reynolds? That can only make the tills ring. The streaming provider was probably also of this opinion, so that production costs of more than 120 million euros were not an obstacle. With success: The film is one of the five most watched Netflix titles of all time.

9. “The Irishman” (2019/138 million euros)

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Okay, a Martin Scorsese epic about a mafia hit man can cost that much. The main reason: The plot of the film extends over several decades. In order to make the main actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino all look younger again, an expensive CGI technique was used. But that has also paid off: The film is one of the most successful Netflix titles and the makers were able to look forward to ten Oscar nominations.

8. “Red Notice” (2021/138 million euros)

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The fact that the action comedy can rank ahead of Scorsese’s masterpiece with the same budget is simply due to the shorter running time of just 117 minutes (for comparison: “The Irishman” takes 209 minutes). So the film is more expensive – and once again Ryan Reynolds is at the start. Whether it will be a hit remains to be seen. The film has been available on Netflix since November 12, 2021.

7. “Marco Polo” (2014-2016 / 172.5 million euros)

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The series about the young years of the legendary Marco Polo could not convince the audience despite a high budget. After two seasons it was over.

6. “The Gray Man” (2022 / 172.5 million euros)

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The thriller hasn’t even been released yet, but it still manages to be Netflix’s most expensive film project to date. The film was actually supposed to be finished in 2021, but filming was delayed due to the corona pandemic. STARRING: Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. The directors are “Avengers: Endgame” makers Joe and Anthony Russo.

5. “Sense8” (2015-2018 / 186.3 million euros)

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The sci-fi series was also discontinued by Netflix after only two seasons. The reason: The low number of views does not justify the high production costs of around 7.8 million euros per episode.

4. “Stranger Things” (2016 to date / 258.75 million euros +)

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It looks completely different with “Stranger Things”. The fourth season of the mystery series is due to appear in 2022. According to the makers Matt and Ross Duffer, this should not end there. Either way, the cult series with an eighties vibe has already made it into the top five of cost-intensive productions. The special effects ensure that an episode costs an average of 10.4 million euros. But it’s worth it for Netflix: More than 64 million households worldwide are said to have seen the series so far.

3. „Orange Is the New Black“ (2013-2019 / 313,95 Millionen Euro)

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Completed, however, is the series “Orange Is the New Black”, which is based on the autobiographical memoir by Piper Kerman and, in 91 episodes, provides an insight into the inner workings of a women’s prison in the USA. Among other things, this long running time made the series so expensive and earned it bronze in this ranking.

2. “House of Cards” (2013-2018 / 314.81 million euros)

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The same applies to the “House of Cards”, the prototype of a successful Netflix series. Despite a first-class cast like Kevin Spacey up to his sex scandal and Robin Wright, one episode cost a comparatively cheap 4.3 million euros. The series co-founded the success of Netflix, so the investment has paid off.

1. “The Crown” (2016-up to now / 448.5 million euros +)

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The Queen just can’t top anything. Peter Morgan’s epic series about the life so far of Queen Elizabeth II is Netflix’s most expensive project to date. The royal series food with star cast (including Olivia Coleman, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson) has so far devoured almost half a billion euros. The authentic costumes and props have their price.

By the way, what the British monarch herself thinks about the series is not officially known. While Prince Charles, according to reports in the Daily Mail, does not like it, Princess Eugene is said to have announced at a party that her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, found the series quite amusing.

Netflix: Some series could make it into the ranking in the future

By the way: When it comes to the cost per episode, some series that previously ran for one season could soon also appear on this list. The historical series “Bridgerton” devours around 4.3 million euros per episode. For comparison: With the previous leader “The Crown”, already in the fourth season, it is around 11.2 million euros. The fantasy series “The Witcher” comes closer to that with a budget of 8.6 million euros per episode.

One series, however, was even too expensive for Netflix: In the musical series “The Get Down” by director Baz Luhrmann, a clique of friends tries to escape the poverty of the Bronx in New York with a hip-hop career. In the first season, each episode cost around 9.5 million euros; with eleven episodes, that makes about 104.5 million euros in production costs. The mega success did not materialize, the series was discontinued after a season.

Have you seen all of the above series? Then check out this list for inspiration:

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Do you have any series or film tips that you want to share with the WELT community? We look forward to your comment!

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