Streaming juggernaut Netflix originally began as a curated content platform in 1997 that would ship physical copies of films directly to your home. But today, the service has extended to include streaming that now makes it one of the most popular mediums for content to date. In addition to securing some of the most popular and iconic films and television shows in entertainment, the company has also gone on to fund its own original content.
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This original content has included some of the most popular television shows of all time such as Stranger Things, The Crown, and House of Cards. Netflix isn’t shy when it comes to providing a high budget for these shows either. The Crown averaged out at around $130 million per season. Stranger Things was estimated at $103 million per season. House of Cards was only shortly behind both at $100 million for the first two seasons.
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But in addition to television, the curated platform has also funded several feature films as well. The successful indie sleeper Puffy Chair was Netflix’s first original feature film. It featured a budget of just $15,000. But since its premiere in 2005, Netflix has continued to rise in popularity, allowing the company to allocate more funding for original content. This has resulted in some of the most innovative, stylistic, and popular films in cinema. Most of these films and their success are due to their expensive budget that has continued to increase over time. These investments have yielded a high return for Netflix, culminating in over 203 million active users as well as several Academy Award nominations for films such as The Irishman. Viewers continue to stay glued to their screens due for these original films. They are the most expensive in Netflix’s original content.
10 Okja, $50 million
This fantasy-inspired film helped introduce American audiences to the powerful directorial style of Bong Joon Ho who would later go on to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Foreign Film for his work on the film Parasite. The film premiered positively at its Cannes debut in 2017 and featured a star-studded cast that included Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Steven Yeun.
9 The Ridiculous Six, $60 million
While still holding one of the highest production budgets in Netflix history, the feature was a massive flop that boasts an almost impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film received its budget in part due to its impressive cast list that featured comedic legends Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Rob Schneider, and Luke Wilson.
8 Project Power, $85 million
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One of Netflix’s first original features that fell into the superhero genre, this film was a result of a bidding war for the screenplay that Netflix won for an estimated $85 million. The film quickly became one of the most streamed movies on the platform during its initial weeks. It featured Jamie Foxx teaming up with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Dominique Fishback as the superheroes slowly take over the iconic setting of New Orleans.
7 Bright, $90 million
While initially a flop, the film Bright went on to earn a cult following for its heavy subject matter and iconic cast. The fantasy plagued buddy-cop inspired movie cost $90 million to make and despite the films reviews, it still remains one of the most streamed movies of the streaming services catalogue.
6 Triple Frontier, $115 million
Venturing into the heist genre, this film was action packed and featured performances by Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, and Pedro Pascal. Serving as members of the US Army Delta Force, the film revolved around a plot to kidnap and rob a South American drug lord. The film has gone on to receive over 63 million views and retains a solid 71% on Rotten Tomatoes.
5 Outlaw King, $120 million
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A medieval war drama in the vein of Lord of the Rings, this ambitious film features a war waged by a Scottish King against King Edward I. Often compared to Braveheart, the two-hour epic starred Chris Pine and Rebecca Robin. A majority of the films budget went to the elaborate special effects that resulted in some of the most realistic war scenes to date.
4 6 Underground, $150 million
This explosive-centric film was directed by Michael Bay which contributed to a majority of the films budget. It also featured two of the most iconic stars of the day: Ryan Reynolds and Melanie Laurent. Revolving around an international group of assassins who plan to take down an Asian dictator, the film continued to support the hypothesis that heist films are the most successful venture for Netflix as this film is still one of the most streamed on the service.
3 The Irishman, $159 million
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This groundbreaking epic has a run time of 3 hours and 29 minutes. And even at the astonishing length, the film continues to grip people due to the state of the art special effects used to create the ultimate gangster masterpiece. The forefather of ganger cinema Martin Scorsese served as the director and he reunited with some of his most iconic collaborators including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel. The film was a commercial and critical success, earning 10 Academy Award nominations.
2 Red Notice, $160 million
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Red Notice had a significant budget because of the team up and battle between Ryan Reynolds and The Rock. The action inspired comedy also featured recent superhero Gal Gadot who stars as the world’s most elusive art thief. The action sequences combined with the stars in the film made this feature one of the most expensive in Netflix’s history.
1 The Gray Man, $200 million
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The most expensive feature film for Netflix has still yet to be released. Slated to begin filming in 2021 as th COVID-19 restrictions on production begin to loosen, the feature stars Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. The film is supposedly set to launch a Netflix-based spy franchise around the film and will be written and directed by the dynamic duo the Russo Brothers. Fresh off the success of their superhero films The Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, the film will revolve around a former CIA operative hunting down another agent who has gone rogue. The film will be the most expensive Netflix original to date with a budget upwards of $200 million.
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