It's no secret that producing a Korean drama costs a lot. The lavish production designs, A-list cast, detailed set designs, special effects, filming locations and fashionable outfits are needed to create a top-tier drama. That's why Netflix is investing US$500 million on original Korean content alone.
With more and more people jumping on the K-drama mania, we can expect more Korean dramas to also spend more on production costs to deliver the best production quality possible. Here, we break down some of the popular Korean dramas with the highest production costs whether it's fantasy, historical or romance.
Editors note: This list is not exhaustive as a lot of Korean dramas come out every year with high production costs. For instance, a lot of Korean dramas are estimated to cost 20 billion won but only a few are included in this list. The estimated cost is based on the production's own disclosed figures.
1. Arthdal Chronicles
Arthdal Chronicles is the first historical fantasy Korean drama so it's expected that production cost is high. The show premiered when Game of Thrones was still a hit, another show that's known for its expensive production from special effects, costumes to set designs and which Arthdal Chronicles seemed to have taken inspiration from. The Korean drama stars A-list actors from Song Joong-ki, Kim Ji-won to Jang Dong-gun and was divided into three parts which increased the cost of production.
Filming was also partly done in Brunei while a set was built specifically for the drama in Osan, Gyeonggi Province. It's estimated that each episode of Arthdal Chronicles cost about three billion Korean won.
Estimated cost: 54 billion Korean won