Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


CORRECT: Hobbit tax rebate swells to $67.1 mln in 2nd year

CORRECT: Hobbit tax rebate swells to $67.1 mln in second year of production

(Fixes extra subsidy figure in 10th graph)

By Paul McBeth

Nov. 26 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand taxpayers lent a $67.1 million helping hand via tax rebates for the making of Peter Jackson's movie The Hobbit in the first two years of actual production, according to its financial statements.

The movie, produced by Warner Bros Entertainment subsidiary 3 Foot 7, reaped $46.9 million from New Zealand's large budget screen production grant in the 12 months ended March 31, according to statements lodged with the Companies Office. That added to the $20.2 million tax rebate it received in 2011, the first year it got the subsidy. Shooting on The Hobbit wrapped in early July of this year, meaning the company should be able to claim a further rebate in the 2013 period.

The subsidy over the two years amounts to about 14.6 percent of the $459.6 million production cost incurred over the 2011 and 2012 financial years, just below the 15 percent of locally incurred costs that can be claimed back in tax under the scheme, known as qualifying New Zealand production expenditure.

New Zealand is coming under pressure to raise the subsidy as the weak US dollar eats into Hollywood studios' margins. Last month producer James Cameron, who used Wellington-based Weta Digital for his Avatar film, told TVNZ's Q&A programme Prime Minister John Key discussed "the idea of possibly altering the rebate scheme to keep pace with the change in the dollar" with studio executives on a whirlwind visit to Los Angeles.

The Hobbit production company narrowed its loss to $8.2 million in the 2012 year from $70.4 million a year earlier. The way the production is financed means filming costs are covered by interest free loans from New Line Cinema. 3 Foot 7 can then satisfy that debt, plus take a margin, by charging production service fees once filming is completed.

The company lifted its production service fee to $266.3 million in the 2012 period, from $50.1 million a year earlier. That left $27.6 million in outstanding production advances, as at March 31.

New Zealand's capital, Wellington, is preparing to host the world premiere of the first Hobbit film on Wednesday, and Wellington City Council has put up some $1.1 million for a raft of activities, including outdoor screenings of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and a week-long artisan market two blocks away from the red carpet.

The movie trilogy, originally slated for two films, suffered several delays, including funding woes from MGM, first-choice director Guillermo del Toro quitting and producer Peter Jackson taking over, a threatened actors’ boycott, and surgery for Jackson.

The film became a political football in 2010, and saw Prime Minister Key step in to broker a deal with Warner Bros executives amid fears the production could be shipped somewhere cheaper as local actors sought to firm up their working conditions.

That saw the government give the studios an extra subsidy of up to US$15 million for spending more than $200 million, expanding what spending qualifies for the rebate under the existing rules, and changing employment law to classify all film workers as contractors by default. It would also stump up US$10 million to market local tourism as part of The Hobbit’s release.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Transport Case: Men Guilty Of Corruption And Bribery Will Spend Time In Jail

Two men who were found guilty of corruption and bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) trial have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court today... The pair are guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport. More>>

ALSO:

Hager Raid: Westpac Wrong To Release Bank Records To Police

The Privacy Commissioner has censured Westpac Banking Corp for releasing without a court order more than 10 months of bank records belonging to the political activist and journalist Nicky Hager during a police investigation into leaked information published in Hager's 2014 pre-election book, 'Dirty Politics'. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Crown Accounts: Government Ekes Out Six-Month Surplus Of $9M

The New Zealand government eked out a tiny surplus in the first six months of the fiscal year as growth in domestic consumption lifted the goods and services tax take, while uncertainties over the Kaikoura earthquake costs meant expenses were less than expected. More>>

ALSO:

Almost 400 Jobs: Shock At Cadbury's Dunedin Factory Closure

Workers at Cadbury in Dunedin are reeling after learning this morning that the iconic Cadbury factory is to close, with the loss of almost 400 jobs... “The company had reported it was doing well and this has come out of the blue,” says Chas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news