Ranked: These are the most expensive shows and films Netflix has ever made

The top cost over half a BILLION


Do you ever wonder what your monthly Netflix subscription cost actually goes on? Do you, or whoever pays for the account you leech on, really need to pay as much as you do every month? Well it kind of looks as though the answer is yes, because the most expensive shows and films Netflix is producing are costing hundreds and hundreds of millions.

From high budget action films, to period dramas that are royal in all senses – Netflix loves to splash the cash. In terms of cost per episode to make, some honourable mentions go to Bridgerton ($5 million/ep), The Witcher ($10 million/ep), The Defenders ($8 million/ep), Altered Carbon ($7 million/ep) and The Get Down ($ 11million/ep). They just haven’t had yet, or never will have, enough episodes to reach the dizzy heights of the others.

But here is the full ranking of those who made it – the most expensive shows and films Netflix has ever produced. I cannot even begin to fathom this much money.

10. 6 Underground – $150 million

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via Netflix

6 Underground was released on Netflix in December 2019 and is in the top five most watched Netflix titles ever released. Which probably makes the $150 million spent on it feel like a drop in the ocean. But if you’re going to have a film with Ryan Reynolds in it, you need to make it look good.

9. The Irishman – $160 million

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via Netflix

The Irishman movie is also one of the most watched Netflix titles ever, so it was worth every buck Netflix threw at it. One thing that probably cost loads was the CGI used to de-age cast members. De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino were all made more youthful – created from artificial-intelligence software, first-of-its-kind motion-capture technology, and an experimental three-camera rigging system (whatever all that means) that made their skin softer and gave them a youthful glow. The budget of the film was an estimated $160 million.

8. Red Notice – $160 million

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via Netflix

Red Notice is still pending on Netflix. The film, starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, is based in the world of international crime, where an Interpol agent attempts to hunt down and capture the world’s most wanted art thief. It’s set to be released worldwide this year, and has cost $160 million.

7. The Gray Man – $200 million

The Gray Man is yet to be released on Netflix, after production has been delayed multiple times due to the global pandemic. However, since the espionage thriller was announced it was said to be Netflix’s most expensive original film to date – with Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo behind it, and Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans as stars. The budget is said to be about $200 million.

6. Marco Polo – $200 million

Marco Polo

via Netflix

Each of the 20 episodes of Marco Polo, about the legendary explorer, cost Netflix an estimated $10 million. It was a big budget series which looked as though it was going to be competition for Game of Thrones. But, it was cancelled after two seasons with pretty average viewing figures.

5. Sense8 – $216 million

Sense8

via Netflix

The 2015 sci-fi drama series Sense8 just makes into the top five of the most expensive shows and films Netflix has ever made. The show had 24 episodes in total, which cost $9 million each – making the entire budget an estimated $216 million. The show was cancelled after two seasons, because it didn’t have a big enough viewership to balance the huge production costs.

4. Stranger Things – $300 million

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via Netflix

It’s no surprise that Stranger Things is one of the most expensive shows for Netflix to make – what with all those mad effects and Demogorgons running all over the place. Each episode alone is estimated to cost around $12 million to make – meaning the entire series has had a budget of around $300 million, and it’s still being made. But it’s a Netflix fan favourite – over 64 million households tuned into season three. 

3. Orange Is The New Black – $364 million

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via Netflix

Orange Is The New Black was mainly so expensive because it ran for so long. It was one of Netflix’s first ever series and quickly became a fan fav, with a huge seven seasons. Despite being set in a prison, the production was pretty expensive. Each of the 91 episodes cost an estimated $4 million to make, costing Netflix $364 million in total.

2. House of Cards – $365 million

House of Cards

via Netflix

House of Cards is largely received as the series which invented Netflix. It helped establish the site as the place to find the best original TV shows and films. So it’s no wonder a lot of money went into it. The 73 episodes of the show cost $5 million each over six years – meaning the overall budget was around $365 million.

1. The Crown – $520 million

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via Netflix

Ok, so The Crown is hella expensive to make, like ridiculously so. It’s cost Netflix over half a BILLION so far. When it was first released, it was rumoured to be the most expensive show Netflix has ever put together, and the rumours were true. The first two seasons are said to have cost $100 million each to make and season four cost around $144 million. Putting together all of those royal sets, costumes and god knows what else costs an estimated $13 million per episode. Whew.

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