Stranger Things 4 Had A Truly Ridiculous Per-Episode Budget

Stranger Things 4 Had A Truly Ridiculous Per-Episode Budget
Image credit: Netflix

The fourth season of Netflix's Stranger Things was finally released in May-July of this year, ending a more than three-year hiatus since the previous season of the show.

Since its premiere in 2016, Stranger Things has become one of Netflix 's most popular TV series. And Netflix, which has recently encountered difficulties with maintaining its pool of subscribers, invested heavily into Stranger Things Season 4, in hopes that it will do even better than the previous seasons.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Netflix spent $30 million per episode on Stranger Things Season 4. This represents a massive increase from Stranger Things' relatively humble beginnings. Season 1, back then in 2016, cost $6 million per episode, while Season 2 cost $8 million per episode. Besides several new locations, and more special effects, both CGI and practical, increased budget allowed the cast to get its well-deserved salary bumps.

This budget is quite lavish by today's standards. House of the Dragon, the fantasy series with elaborate costumes, sets and CGI, cost around $20 million per episode, while its predecessor, Game of Thrones started with budgets of around $6 million per episode, like Stranger Things, and reached $15 million per episode by the end of its run:

Eddie Munson Might Still Be Alive, and This Stranger Things Theory Proves It

The Mandalorian, a Star Wars series, which accordingly involves a lot of unusual costumes, special effects and sets from the galaxy far, far away, cost around $15 million per episode:

Even the recent TV series from Marvel Studios, which are notable for heavy use of special effects, and for employing actors who starred in feature MCU movies, cost only approximately $25 million per episode.

The only TV series which budget easily leaves Stranger Things Season 4 in the dust is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, with its stupendous $58 million per episode.

And unlike the case of The Rings of Power, the budget of Stranger Things Season 4 seems to be well-spent. This season became the most viewed English-language show on Netflix, breaking records of Stranger Things' previous seasons and other Netflix series.