Squid Game is Netflix’s most-watched series to date, but that doesn’t mean its creator Hwang Dong-hyuk is getting rich from the survival drama.
Netflix has confirmed that the series has been watched by over 142 million households worldwide as the series continues to dominate the U.S streaming rankings.
The Korean drama is about a deadly challenge, where players compete through several rounds of children’s games for the chance to win a 45.6 billion won prize, which is equivalent to about $38 million.
The eliminated players are executed in the thrilling series that earned critical acclaim, despite its controversial ending.
Hwang Dong-hyuk ‘not that rich’ from Squid Game
In a recent interview Hwang Dong-hyuk, 50, spoke about the success of the series he created before being asked if the series made him wealthy.
“I’m not that rich,” he said to The Guardian, adding: “But I do have enough. I have enough to put food on the table. And it’s not like Netflix is paying me a bonus. Netflix paid me according to the original contract.”
According to leaked documents, the series cost Netflix $21.4 million to produce. This figure comes to about $2.4 million per episode. It is unclear how much from each episode Hwang Dong-hyuk earned individually or whether he received a flat fee.
The article suggests that the Squid Game creator did not negotiate a “performance-related clause,” which would have earned the screenwriter additional bonuses on hitting viewership targets.
Hwang Dong-hyuk also revealed the stress he endured creating the series, telling a Guardian reporter he lost six teeth in the process of creating the series, adding:
“It was physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. I kept having new ideas and revising the episodes as we were filming, so the amount of work multiplied.”
Squid Game generates $900 million for Netflix
Figures seen by Bloomberg reveal that Squid Game could generate Netflix about $900 million.
A potentially colossal profit margin since the series only cost $21 million to produce.
The publication reported on a Netflix document which revealed the metric the company uses to assess the performances of its series to calculate Squid Games’ earnings.
Furthermore, Reuters credits Squid Game for a Netflix subscribers boost, revealing the streaming giant added 4.38 million subscribers from July through September.
With a potential Season 2 of Squid Game in the works, series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk could potentially negotiate a more lucrative contract with Netflix.
Hwang Dong-hyuk did not reveal how much Netflix paid him for Squid Game. However, since the series cost $21 million to produce, Dong-hyuk’s earnings are less than the series prize money of $38 million.
Squid Game is currently streaming on Netflix.