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

 

What Winter? Temperature Records Set For June 20-22

The days around the winter soltice produced a number of notably warm tempertaures. More>>

Conservation Deal: New Kākāpō Recovery Partnership Welcomed

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the new kakapo recovery partnership between DOC and Meridian Energy is great news for efforts to save one of New Zealand’s most beloved birds. More>>

ALSO:

Tech Sector Report: Joyce Warns Asian Tech Investors View NZ As Hobbits And Food

Speaking in Wellington at the launch of a report showcasing the value of the technology sector to the New Zealand economy, Joyce said more had to be done to tell the country's technology stories overseas. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaglommeration: APN Gets OIO Approval For Demerger Plan

APN News & Media has received Overseas Investment Office approval for its plan to split out its NZME unit ahead of a potential merger with rival Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations. More>>

New Paper: Ninety-Day Trial Period Has No Impact On Firms' Hiring

The introduction of a 90-day trial period has had no impact on hiring by New Zealand companies although they are now in widespread use, according to researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Exits Equity Stake, Remains As Operator

Serco has sold its equity stake in the company that holds the contract to design, build and run Wiri Prison in South Auckland but continues as sub-contractor to operate the facility. More>>

GDP: NZ Economy Grows Faster-Than-Forecast 0.7%

New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter of 2016 as construction expanded at the quickest rate in two years. The kiwi dollar jumped after the data was released. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news