Revealed: Film and TV’s Most Expensive Offices

Written by

Revealed: Film and TV’s Most Expensive Offices

Cinema and television are both famed for the way they embellish reality, all in the name of entertainment – and workplace dramas and comedies are no different.

But how much would some of film and TV’s most famous offices cost to run and maintain in today’s market? Considering multiple factors, including location and employee count, we’ve been able to conclusively determine the most expensive fictional workplaces.

The Cost of Your Favorite Fictional Offices

Discover the definitive ranking of the most expensive fictional office buildings in film and television. You’re sure to be surprised at the extraordinary costs!

1. 30 Rock, $14,325,300

Taking the crown as TV and film’s most expensive fictional office, we have 30 Rock’s NBC studio. The satirical sitcom parodies creator Tina Fey’s own experiences working for the same network, and the show’s New York City office would cost a mind-boggling $14,325,300 in running expenses per year. If each of the seven seasons covers a year, in reality, that works out at over $100m to run the office over the entire series.

2. The Wolf of Wall Street, $10,366,694

The second most expensive fictional office, we have an unsurprising candidate in The Wolf of Wall Street’s Stratton Oakmont. Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed American entrepreneur Jordan Belfort, who was famed for his extreme taste and uncontrollable spending, so it’s little wonder that his brokerage cost an eye-watering $10,366,694 to run each year.

3. The Bold Type, $9,829,433

The Bold Type is orientated around a trio of sophisticated women who work for women’s magazine ‘Scarlet’. Based in New York City, the fictional office ranks among the most expensive in film and TV, costing an estimated $9,829,433 a year to run. If we attribute a year to each of the five seasons, the bill stacks up to almost $50,000,000 across the full series.

4. The Holiday, $9,321,074

The Daily Telegraph building in seasonal rom-com The Holiday has earned its place among the most expensive fictional offices in film and TV, ranking fourth overall. Workplace of the dedicated columnist and hopeless romantic Iris, the newsroom would cost around $9,321,074 in upkeep per year, thanks in part to its Central London location.

5. The Devil Wears Prada, $2,880,807

Thought to be loosely inspired by Vogue, according to the experiences of original author Lauren Weisberger, The Devil Wears Prada follows the editorial team at popular fashion magazine ‘Runway’. While the film focuses on the happenings of editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly and her assistants Andy and Emily, hundreds of people work at the fictional office. As such, the annual running cost of Runway would come in at an astonishing $2,880,807.

6. Bridget Jones’s Diary, $2,602,782

Romantic comedy Bridget Jones’s Diary was released in 2001 and has since become a cult classic of the genre. Titular character Bridget Jones works at a publishing company in Central London, headed up by the outrageous Daniel Cleaver. With all factors considered, including the city-center location, the fictional office would come with estimated annual running costs of up to $2,602,782.

7. Ugly Betty, $1,154,022

Ugly Betty follows the story of an unstylish 22-year-old who lands a job at trendy fashion magazine ‘Mode’, based in New York’s Manhattan area. With over 100 employees featured throughout the show, the office is of a reasonable size. All things considered; the fictional office would cost $1,154,022 to run annually in today’s market.

8. Suits, $368,305

While fictional law firm Pearson Hardman may have had several different names over the course of the series Suits, the New York City office building’s running costs remained consistently high enough to place it among TV and film’s most expensive. In fact, running the office would cost the firm $368,305 per year. If each of the legal series’ nine seasons is considered a year in real-time, that’s nearly $3.5m to manage the office for the entire series.

9. Mad Men, $322,644

Advertising agency ‘Sterling Cooper Advertising’ is the central focus of the popular drama Mad Men. Based in New York City, the series follows advertising genius Don Draper and his charismatic quest to reach the top of the industry. The show might be set in the 60s and 70s, but the same fictional office would cost $322,644 to run in the present day.

10. The Office, $242,347

The Office is a lighthearted mockumentary depicting the everyday lives of typical American office workers, set in the unremarkable Pennsylvania city of Scranton. However, despite the uninspiring setting and seemingly average lineup of sales reps, accountants, and warehouse staff, the running cost of the show’s fictional location, Dunder Mifflin, would come in at a staggering quarter of a million dollars per year ($242,347). This works out at nearly $2m over the course of the show’s run time.

11. The Politician, $52,615

Centered around a New York University student running for a seat in the State Senate, the fictional office in the dramatic comedy The Politician is relatively low maintenance compared to some others on our list. That said, the main character Payton Hobart is still forced to fork out $52,615 annually in office running costs, which is an incredible amount considering his student status.

Running an office can be an expensive and time-consuming effort, so take a load off your plate with our round-the-clock virtual receptionist, giving you more time to focus on the parts of your business that matter most. Or, for even more expert insight, check out the latest from us over on our blog.

Methodology

To determine the most expensive fictional offices, we analyzed a series of well-known locations from popular films and TV shows. For each office, we recorded the number of people who feature in the film/show, the office’s location, and the cost per square foot per year in each location.

As a rule of thumb, offices require 100 square feet of space per employee. So, for each location, we multiplied the cost of 100 square feet (one employee) by the number of people who feature. This gave us the annual cost of rent per office.

We then worked out how much a typical office spends on employee supplies (laptop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, desk, and chair). This equaled $1,523 per employee. For each fictional office, we multiplied this figure by employee count, to give us the total cost of office supplies.

Finally, we combined the two figures for each fictional office, to give us the overall running costs. Each office was then ranked.

3 Most Expensive Fictional Offices Revealed