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House of the Dragon Budget Under $20 Million Per Episode


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A new report from Variety shares a piece of information from an anonymous “production insider”: the 10 episode first season of House of the Dragon managed an average per episode budget somewhat under $20 million. This is cited as a great achievement given rising production costs and the greater number of dragons that will need to be CGed in the series. Variety reports:

[T]he production insider says HBO is now so adept at these world-building series through years of not just GoT, but also producing Westworld”and His Dark Materials, that the team can make a high-quality series as efficiently and effectively as possible.

By way of comparison, the final season of Game of Thrones cost somewhere in the vicinity of $15 million an episode.



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The mystery has been solved! :D

I admit to not knowing much about economics, but I just can’t wrap my head around how they plan to break even on this show. Prequels never do as well as the originals, even when the original nailed the ending (maybe Star Wars did, but probably not if you adjust for inflation). Then again, I’m not sure how Westworld hasn’t gotten canceled yet, considering the viewership numbers vs. the budget.

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HBO doesn't depend on viewing numbers. They depend on subscribers. In the case of HBO in particular, they draw subscribers by having the cachet of, "It's not TV. It's HBO." They win awards, they are critically acclaimed, etc. 

If subscriptions go up, HBO will see it as a win.

But the important thing to note is that pretty much all the streamers are playing this game of bigger and bigger budgets, competing to draw subscribers to their services.

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1 hour ago, Westeros said:

By way of comparison, the final season of Game of Thrones cost somewhere in the vicinity of $15 million an episode.

So they spend more on the first season of HotD than they did on the last season of GoT. Wow, that's quite bold. Plus, it's safe to assume that the budget will increase for future seasons.

Edited by Takiedevushkikakzvezdy
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43 minutes ago, Ran said:

HBO doesn't depend on viewing numbers. They depend on subscribers. In the case of HBO in particular, they draw subscribers by having the cachet of, "It's not TV. It's HBO." They win awards, they are critically acclaimed, etc. 

If subscriptions go up, HBO will see it as a win.

But the important thing to note is that pretty much all the streamers are playing this game of bigger and bigger budgets, competing to draw subscribers to their services.

So subscriptions increase during Westworld, but they didn’t increase during Vinyl, which was why one is still on the air but the other was cancelled then? I guess I could see people only subscribing during the new season of their favorite show, then cancelling for the rest of the year.

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My guess its more of a long term thing. They probably expect it to pay off in like a couple years time or something. Sometimes it takes time for people to find out about a tv show. But once they do they will go to the streaming service that has it.

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3 hours ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Plus, much of the budget in later seasons of GoT went to the high cast salaries.

IIRC the actors for Jaime, Cersei, Tyrion, Jon, and Daenerys were paid 1M$ per episode by the end of the show. That's a total of 5+3+6+6+6=26M$ to pay only those five main actors in season 8, almost a third of the total budget of the final season.

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6 hours ago, Thomaerys Velaryon said:

IIRC the actors for Jaime, Cersei, Tyrion, Jon, and Daenerys were paid 1M$ per episode by the end of the show. That's a total of 5+3+6+6+6=26M$ to pay only those five main actors in season 8, almost a third of the total budget of the final season.

Imagine getting paid for saying “muh queen” Kit finessed HBO.

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Hopefully we get a real trailer soon. No one outside of book fans seems to even know this show exists, so they’ll probably need to do more heavy promotions for it.

The most common complaint I’ve seen among people that aren’t excited for HOTD is that it feels pointless after seeing how the Targaryen line ended. I can certainly understand that. On the one hand, people love shows and movies about the Tudors and Elizabeth I, who died without children. . . but technically the Tudors did survive through the female line, and are the ancestors of the current royal family, so I guess that’s not really a good comparison. Maybe if GOT made Gendry a bigger character and played up his Targaryen ancestry, the ending would have been a bit more hopeful.

On a side note, am I the only one who liked the Rings of Power trailer? It felt very whimsical and made me feel like I was watching LOTR again. I don’t really understand the backlash.

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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

The most common complaint I’ve seen among people that aren’t excited for HOTD is that it feels pointless after seeing how the Targaryen line ended. I can certainly understand that. On the one hand, people love shows and movies about the Tudors and Elizabeth I, who died without children. . . but technically the Tudors did survive through the female line, and are the ancestors of the current royal family, so I guess that’s not really a good comparison. Maybe if GOT made Gendry a bigger character and played up his Targaryen ancestry, the ending would have been a bit more hopeful.

doesn't it have more to do with how their line ended? I mean .. yes, Tudor line survived but is that why people don't care about the dynasty dying out in fictions? for me , Elizabeth I shows/books/.. are interesting because she was kinda in her prime when she died . Daenerys ,on the other hand, was turned into this freedom icon who suddenly became a mad woman needing to be put down by a lover's dagger in what seemed like less than a fortnight. if Daenerys was given a satisfying end (not necessary a happy or heroic one.. maybe something like Egg's tragedy of Summerhall) , people would be excited to see Targaryen shows .

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37 minutes ago, EggBlue said:

doesn't it have more to do with how their line ended? I mean .. yes, Tudor line survived but is that why people don't care about the dynasty dying out in fictions? for me , Elizabeth I shows/books/.. are interesting because she was kinda in her prime when she died . Daenerys ,on the other hand, was turned into this freedom icon who suddenly became a mad woman needing to be put down by a lover's dagger in what seemed like less than a fortnight. if Daenerys was given a satisfying end (not necessary a happy or heroic one.. maybe something like Egg's tragedy of Summerhall) , people would be excited to see Targaryen shows .

Yeah, that’s a fair point. If Dany died heroically fighting the Others, there’d probably be more interest in her family history.

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5 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

This show will be george and hbos make or break. If it fails hbo won’t green light any other shows for a while. 

You're absolutely right about that. There is an insane amount of pressure on this show.

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