The first season of The Last of Us HBO series has reportedly cost the television network “upward of a hundred million dollars,” according to The New Yorker. That’s an incredible amount of money and investment for a debut season. By comparison, that’s almost double the budget for the first season of Game of Thrones.
The Last of Us $100 million budget, in context
The reported figure of $100 million in The New Yorker for The Last of Us Season 1 budget corroborates an earlier report from Collider which revealed that each episode of this HBO series would cost $10 million. Given that the first season consists of nine 50-minute episodes, that would put its estimated cost at around $90-100 million in total. In contrast, according to Metro, the first season for Game of Thrones cost about $60 million.
But to put this figure into broader context, $100 million might actually be a bargain compared to some other TV projects. Variety reports that the ten-episode House of the Dragon Season 1 cost HBO under $20 million per episode. That’s an upward estimate of $200 million, so the network certainly isn’t shy about crazy-high budgets. Meanwhile, the first season of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power reportedly costed about $465 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It was recently revealed that the second season of the series will cover the events in The Last of Us Part II game. That might be the end of the show, unless Neil Druckmann reveals that the rumored The Last of Us 3 is in production, though he said that fans should be “wary of insider info.“