The current debate over the Hobbit and the subsidies it received from the New Zealand government annoys me.
Who cares how much it cost, the money doesn't actually get forked out by us the taxpayer; it is a loss of perceived income.
There can be no argument that the business of making this movie has not positively impacted on our local and national economies. There are many small businesses that in some way have seen Hobbit money pass through their bank accounts. They may be involved in the Arts, Food, Plumbing, Rental Cars and yes Tailoring but that revenue helps businesses meet targets, pay wages and contribute back to the tax pot.
In addition the impact on Tourism is significant, why else would our National Carrier (who are reasonably savvy at punching above their weight when competing in a global market) be spending so much of their budget on using the movie as their main vehicle for promotion.
This is more than political pawn; both the Labor and National governments saw the benefits long ago.
To put it in perspective: Here are some numbers.
The Government subsidy for Hobbit was approximately NZ 120 Million. The film is expected to gross NZ 3 Billion.
Heineken paid NZ 55 Million for product placement in Sky fall. That film is hoping to gross NZ 1 Billion.
We should all be looking at the movie and celebrating it as a success. Not chopping it down in true tall poppy style.
After all we helped pay for it to get made.
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