K-pop Drops the Big Bucks: Top Ten High-Budget MVs

What would you do with a few hundred grand? Travel the world? Buy a new car? Shoot a high-quality music video? K-pop agencies are all over that last choice, and MV costs in the last couple of years have soared to astronomical heights. Maybe one day we’ll get the chance to casually slip, “Oh, we spent X hundred thousand dollars on Z today, no big deal!” into a random conversation. Until then, let’s just gawk at price tags on these ten costly videos.


Over $100,000 USD

10. “Step” – KARA
The multicolored setpiece alone cost over $90,000 dollars. Keep in mind we didn’t include the costs for 30+ dance extras, the production crew, the Swarovski jewelry the girls are wearing…

09. “Volume Up” – 4Minute
The Gothic castle set for “Volume Up” set Cube Entertainment back by over $130,000. And is that the final D&G Spring/Summer 2012 collection I spy on the ladies? Jelly, those were limited editions.

08. “Loving U” – SISTAR
How do you top the glitz and glamor of a Las Vegas MV shoot? Mosey on over to a tropical paradise. If you had $172,000 to spend on a music video, why not do it on a beautiful Hawaiian island? Logic!

07. “Venus” – Shinhwa
The MV for Shinhwa’s triumphant return to K-pop was shot in five different locations and required special CG and wire effects. When you get right down to it though, the six members basically played tag with the female lead to the tune of $175,000.


Over $200,000 USD

06. “Love Song” – Big Bang
The continuous shot format of “Love Song” required each individual scene to be filmed over the entire length of the song. Equipment included a jimmyjib, a motion control camera, a remote head crane, aviation shooting, flying cams and steady cams. They also built their own two-lane road in the middle of nowhere. Honestly, it’s a shock they didn’t exceed $200,000.

05. “Hot Boy” – Big Star
Viewers raved over Big Star’s debut MV, complimenting it for being incredibly high quality for a rookie group. Brave Brothers spares no expense for his in-house artists and dropped over $260,000 on his newest.

04. “One 4 U” – A-JAX
OK, we understand where the money went for this MV. About $42k was spent on CG alone, and the whole shebang totaled up to over $260,000 USD.

03. “Lonely” – 2NE1
At about $180,000, wardrobe costs for the “Lonely” music video actually passed the production cost of the song. That means the price tag on the whole thing was up in the $300,000 area.


Over $500,000 USD

02. “Honey Honey” – GangKiz
We were going to go ahead and let “Honey Honey” take the top spot, but technically, the music video filming coincided with T-ARA’s European vacation. Scenes from the MV were filmed in Italy, Austria and Switzerland, racking up to almost $900,000 in production costs.

01. “Cry Cry” – T-ARA
“Cry Cry” was a 20-minute music mini-drama to the tune of one billion Won. That’s over $870,000 dollars on a music video, y’all. Blockbuster, indeed.

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