You know what they say, life on a ranch is no walk in the park, especially if you're a fan of the hit TV show Yellowstone. This family drama has captivated audiences for three seasons with its gripping storyline. But did you know that filming the show doesn't come cheap? In fact, the cost of shooting just one episode, let alone an entire season, will blow your mind.
The recent move of the show from Park City, Utah to Missoula, Montana was driven by the high filming costs. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, filming in Utah alone cost a whopping $80 million over three seasons. Can you believe that? And here's the kicker, around 70-75% of the show was filmed in Utah. But wait, there's more. The show has also shot some scenes in Montana since its first season. So when you do the math, it's safe to say that the show was no small investment.
Now, I know you're probably dying to know how much the actors get paid. Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Costner, the star of the show, earns a cool $500,000 per episode. Talk about a hefty paycheck! But let's not forget about the rest of the cast. While their paychecks may not be as jaw-dropping as Costner's, they still take home a pretty penny.
So, how much did it actually cost to produce a season of Yellowstone? Based on the Tribune report, it's estimated that the show cost around $27 million per season in Utah alone. When you factor in the costs of filming outside the state, the total bill could climb upwards of $35 million. That's a lot of money! If we break it down to an episode level, we're looking at a budget of around $3.5 million for the second and third seasons. But don't worry, season 1's nine episodes were still a bargain at around $4 million.
It's worth noting that the costs of filming Yellowstone may have increased in 2020 due to the pandemic. Production was competing for funding with other big projects, like High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. So, the move to Montana may not have been the first choice, but it was definitely the more affordable option.
While $3-4 million per episode may seem like a lot, it's actually not unheard of in the TV industry. Just take Game of Thrones, for example, which had a staggering budget of $15 million per episode for its final season. And let's not forget about The Crown, which came in at $13 million per episode. So, all things considered, Yellowstone is well within the average range.