According to financial filings in the UK by production company Little Island Productions, The Wheel of Time spent over $260 million on the first two seasons. All private companies in the United Kingdom are required to file their financials with the Companies House, the UK’s company registrar. Little Island Productions, a UK company, did just that for the corporate entities it set up for the production of The Wheel of Time, where they registered each season of the show as a separate legal entity. This isn’t uncommon of an approach. We’ve seen similar set up in other countries as well including South Africa and The Canary Islands.

There were three filings for the first season and two for the second. Since season 1 experienced two shutdowns caused by the COVID outbreak, the season’s production spanned three reporting periods. Each of the reports includes figures for revenues and cost of sales. Revenues were exclusively attributable to the “Sale of programme rights.” The revenues were based on the value of the work product in the reporting period (turnover), which, after tax credits and some other minor expenditures, covered the cost of producing the season.

 

Season 1 and 2 Spending

As for how much production spent to produce season 1, across the three reporting periods, the “Cost of sales” totaled £107.4 million, or about $139.7 million dollars. The initial report for season 1 stated that “it is expected that the budgeted production costs for the television programme will increase by 8-10% due to ongoing obligations and crew contracts.” According to this information, the first season apparently required an additional $10.4-$12.7 million due to COVID.

Season two’s filings show a total of £95.4 million, or $124.1 million. This means the cost for season 2 episodes was $15.5 million per episode, compared to $17.5 million for season 1. These numbers are higher than anything previously reported, including our own reporting, which was based mostly on incentive applications and public information from the Czech Film Commission and Cinematography Fund.

The allocations of spending aren’t clear from the report as it does not offer any details or breakdowns. Minor costs are associated with employees and taxes, which are likely limited to Little Island personnel. Public information shows that The Wheel of Time spent about $180 million in the Czech Republic alone for its first two seasons. So the difference between $260 and $180 million could’ve been spent on any number of things, including VFX, post-production, foreign cast and crew, and other expenses such as marketing.

As of this writing, Little Island has yet to submit financial statements for season 3. If these past statements for seasons one and two are any indication, we should see season 3 numbers sometime in late June or July of this year.

 

 

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Editorial notes: As always, it is important to note that these figures are unofficial. Productions and studios rarely comment on show budgets and spending. We believe our interpretation of the reported numbers is correct.

For the purpose of this article, we used a conversion rate of 1.3 for Pound Sterling to US Dollar, based on a three-year average for currency conversion for the two currencies between 2020 and 2022.

 

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I am a long-time fantasy fan. Also a technology generalist with a knack for research. A mix of Brown, Blue, and Yellow Ajah.