The latest season of Stranger Things only dropped a week ago and has already been devoured by millions of fans, with Netflix estimating that over 40 million households had tuned in at some point over the weekend, with 18.2 million binging all eight episodes in their entirety. The Duffer Brothers have created a genuine cultural phenomenon, and with Game of Thrones having recently wrapped up, Stranger Things might very well be the biggest television show on the planet right now.
The series exploded in popularity from the second the first episode landed on Netflix in 2016, and the showrunners have gradually been expanding the scope of the story. It was evident in season 3 that Stranger Things is being made with a much higher budget now with CGI and set pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster, which is no surprise given the massive revenue it generates.
As well as increasing the production values, Stranger Things is now also handsomely rewarding the ensemble cast for their efforts. Millie Bobby Brown, for instance, is earning $350,000 per episode, the same amount as adult co-stars Winona Ryder and David Harbour. The other six core younger actors (Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, and Noah Schnapp) are now making $220,000 each per episode, a massive increase on the $30,000 they were getting paid during the first two seasons.
Even Sadie Sink and Dacre Montgomery, fairly recent additions to the roster of main characters, are taking home $150,000 each per episode. To put that into perspective, these nine relatively inexperienced names aged between 14 and 25 are now earning between $1.2 million and $2.8 million for eight episodes’ work on one of the world’s most talked-about television shows, which is an incredible position to find yourself in as a young actor.