K-dramas are seeing an even more significant rise in global fame thanks to the streaming platform Netflix. Before the success of Squid Game, Netflix developed other well-known dramas like Crash Landing On You, and It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. The webtoon-based K-drama Sweet Home, led by Song Kang, became Netflix’s hit apocalyptic storyline. Now officially confirmed for a second and third season, Sweet Home originally cost Netflix millions to create.
‘Sweet Home’ K-drama tells the story of residential tenants trying to survive absolute horror
In 2020, fans got hooked on the apocalyptic story of humans turning into monsters based on their inner desires. Sweet Home starred the ‘Son of Netflix’ actor Song Kang as a troubled teen named Cha Hyun-soo. After losing his family, he moves into a new apartment complex.
He battles his demons as the outside world descends into chaos. Overnight, the tenants are barricaded inside as an apocalypse ensues, where humans turn into monsters. Anyone can turn and exhibit the symptoms. But being trapped in a building with less than desirable characters leads to turmoil.
As the tenants try to stay alive, Hyun-soo becomes their weapon. He shows all the signs of turning and super strength and abilities. But his fight to hold onto his humanity keeps him from giving in to his monster.
Sweet Home is based on an original webtoon by Kim Carnby and Hwang Young-chan. While the K-drama ended on a cliffhanger, the webtoon did not. But to bring the webtoon to life, Netflix gave the K-drama and huge budget per episode.
Netflix approved ‘Sweet Home’ to spend almost $2.4 million per episode
Developing any series for the streaming platform would cost a pretty penny. According to Koreaboo, Sweet Home takes the cake as one of the most expensive K-dramas Netflix has produced per episode. Each episode of the K-drama cost $2.4 million to create.
The hefty price likely includes paying its A-list Korean cast, the detailed use of CGI, sets, editing, and production and costume design. Behind-the-scenes photo shows the cast interacting with real-life actors in monster prosthetics. Sweet Home had a budget of $27 million.
It is no surprise that Sweet Home cost Netflix a hefty paycheck to create. But in parallel to other well-known K-dramas, it is a jaw-dropper. Mr.Sunshine is estimated to have cost $1.2 million per episode. Netflix’s hit zombie K-drama, Kingdom, cost $1.6 million.
With Sweet Home 2 and season three greenlighted by Netflix, it begs the question if the price per episode will increase? The K-drama is bringing back Song Kang and other famous actors in their original roles and will adapt more monstrous storylines.
‘Squid Game’ was reported to have cost over $21 million to create
The price it cost to create Sweet Home may come as a surprise compared to Netflix’s biggest claim to K-drama fame, Squid Game. The award-winning drama helped push the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, even further. It amassed $900 million in value.
But when it comes to the nitty-gritty, Collider reports it cost Netflix $21.4 million to produce. The price tag was part of the streaming platform’s $500 million investment in Korean entertainment. Nine episodes in the first season cost slightly over $2,377 per episode.