Stranger Things Season 4’s Extravagant Per-Episode Budget

Stranger Things 4 Reveals Netflix’s Hefty Investment with Record-Breaking Budget per Episode.

Netflix, the streaming platform renowned for throwing millions at its most popular shows, didn’t skimp on Stranger Things Season 4.

In fact, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, they went full-on Scrooge McDuck, diving into a vault of $30 million per episode. This is a significant jump from the show’s more humble beginnings; back in 2016, season 1 had a budget of $6 million per episode, and season 2 saw an increase to $8 million.

SEE: Stranger Things Season 5 Might Not Arrive Before 2025

When we compare these numbers to other big-hitter shows, the scope of Stranger Things’ Season 4 budget becomes truly apparent. House of the Dragon, with its elaborate costumes, sets and CGI, comes with a price tag of around $20 million per episode.

Game of Thrones, its predecessor, started with a similar budget to Stranger Things’ first season ($6 million) and peaked at $15 million. Then, there’s The Mandalorian, a Star Wars series known for its unusual costumes and special effects, which costs around $15 million per episode.

Even the recent Marvel Studios’ TV series, famous for their heavy use of special effects and featuring the same actors from their cinematic counterparts, hover around the $25 million per episode mark. There’s only one show that makes Stranger Things Season 4 look modest in comparison: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which clocks in at an eye-watering $58 million per episode.

But here’s the thing: Stranger Things Season 4 is proving that the investment was worth every penny. It’s currently reigning as the most viewed English-language show on Netflix, breaking records set by its own previous seasons and other top Netflix series. It seems that, in the world of streaming, big risks can indeed lead to even bigger rewards.

New locations, more special effects (both CGI and practical), and deserved salary bumps for the cast were all made possible by the lavish budget. The result is a season that’s bigger, better, and more engrossing than ever. It seems that Netflix’s gamble paid off, turning the long wait into a triumphant return. Now, fans around the world are already clamoring for season 5.

Here’s hoping it won’t be another three-year wait. But if it is? Well, if Season 4 is anything to go by, it’ll be worth every minute.