Top 10 MOST Expensive K-Dramas of 2023 Updated List
Ever wondered how much some of your favorite dramas cost to make? Well, we’ve got just the list for you! Here are the top 10 most expensive K-dramas ever:
The 10th most expensive K-drama on this list is Snowdrop. Since the drama takes place in 1987, the set and costumes had to be adjusted to this time period to make it look authentic. The star-studded cast, including BLACKPINK’s Jisoo and popular actress You In-na, also contributed to the high production cost. In total, the production team spent around 32 billion won (approximately 24 million dollars) on the drama, making Snowdrop the cheapest drama on this list.
Reborn Rich is the ninth most expensive drama of all time. This incredibly popular drama starring Song Joong-ki gave viewers a fascinating glimpse into the world of business in South Korea. The most expensive part of this drama was its cast, including veteran actors. Song Joong-ki himself is considered one of the priciest actors on the market. It’s reported that he got paid around 300 million won per episode. The total budget for the drama was an outstanding 35 billion won (approximately 26 million dollars).
Ranking 8th on the list is Kingdom. Originally, the drama was supposed to have only eight episodes, but due to budget issues, the first part ended up being only six episodes long. This is because creating the scenes for this zombie thriller required a lot of special effects and costumes. Additionally, the series is set in the Joseon period, so the costumes had to be adapted accordingly. Most episodes cost around 3 billion won to complete, bringing the total cost of the drama to 35 billion won.
Narco Saints might actually be a little surprising as the 7th most expensive drama on this list. Despite having only six episodes in total, the filming had to happen in different places, which cost a lot of money. The story is set in Suriname, South America, so the cast filmed overseas to make it look more authentic. Due to the pandemic, the shooting had to come to a halt, and when it resumed, the remaining scenes were shot on Jeju Island. The production team made sure to create a set that looked similar to the original locations, and they used computer graphics as a final touch. The total budget for the drama was 35 billion won.
Alchemy of Souls
Ranking in sixth place is Alchemy of Souls. Creating this fantasy-filled drama was costly, as it is filled with action scenes and special effects. The production team even had to build a whole new set just for the drama and put extra effort into making the costumes. Despite some criticism of the styling, the drama became a commercial success, making the investment of 40 billion won (approximately 30 million dollars) worth it for TVN.
Bulgasol: Immortal Souls
Bulgasol: Immortal Souls tells the story of a woman who remembers all of her past lives and crosses paths with a man cursed with immortality. The lead roles are played by well-known actors, and the drama explores unusual themes such as body transformations. The production team had to spend a big sum to make the visuals look right, including special effects and costumes. However, despite impressive graphics, the drama did not perform well commercially. The total budget for the drama was 40 billion won.
Money Heist Korea
Considered one of the biggest productions of 2022, Money Heist Korea is the fifth most expensive K-drama of all time. Despite only 12 episodes aired so far, the budget per episode was huge. The drama is packed with CGI and action scenes that required a significant amount of money to look realistic. Casting veteran actors also added to the budget. Money Heist Korea had an estimated budget of 40 billion won.
The third most expensive K-drama of all time is The Legend, which came out in 2007. The drama tells the story of the reincarnation of an ancient god, set centuries in the past. This required lots of props, costumes, and special effects. The main cast also earned quite a bit of money, with Bay Yong-joon reportedly earning roughly 250 million won as an appearance fee. The total cost of The Legend was 43 billion won.
As the second most expensive K-drama of all time, Arthdal Chronicles is set in ancient times, making it one of the first fantasy K-dramas of its kind. The drama required extensive special effects and costumes, as well as casting A-list actors. The drama was divided into three parts and had scenes filmed in Brunei and on a dedicated set in Osan. The budget of the drama was 54 billion won.
The Most Expensive Kdrama to Date: Moving
Moving is a drama that has gained attention for various reasons. Not only does it have an amazing cast, but it also boasts an incredibly large production budget. In fact, it holds the title for being the most expensive kdrama to date, with a budget of around 40 million dollars.
The drama tells the story of a group of spies who have children with supernatural abilities. With such a unique storyline, it’s no wonder that a significant amount of CGI was required to bring the drama to life. In fact, the number of CGI cuts used in Moving exceeded that of any blockbuster movie. While a typical movie with huge sales uses around 2000 CGI cuts, Moving went above and beyond with a staggering 7540 cuts.
Creating all of these scenes to look as good as possible came at a high cost. Disney, the production company behind Moving, spent over 60 billion won (approximately 45 million dollars) to ensure the visual effects were top-notch. With 20 episodes in the series, it means that each episode cost around 3 billion won, which is quite mind-blowing.
Despite the massive budget, it seems like the money was well worth it. Moving was well-received by the audience and critics alike, making it a successful venture for Disney.