Movies

Film Subsidies Don't Work, Long Live Film Subsidies!

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Speaking of government subsidies for Richy-McRichface Hollywood moviemakers, an internal study by the New Zealand government has shown that:

subsidies for films such as Avatar and King Kong could not be economically justified.

They had likely caused a net economic loss of $36 million.

Defiant NZ Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee responds with the classic excuses of subsidizers everywhere when faced with cold hard data showing them to be stealing from the poor and giving to the rich:

Actual picture of Gerry Brownlee, developing the economic

Brownlee, who oversees the subsidies, attacked the report as uncreative and said he would ignore the advice.

"No surprises there. Treasury has a generally bad attitude towards economic development of any type, particularly economic assistance," he said.

Brownlee said the scheme was working well, and it was necessary to compete with other countries that offered financial assistance to film-makers.

"There's a pipeline of production coming into this country that would easily go to Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales or other countries that offer bigger incentives."

Anyways, thanks for the Avatar, kiwis! Noted pauper James Cameron couldn't have done it without your tax money!

King of New Zealand

Movie producers can get a 15 per cent rebate on any money spent here. Since 2003 nearly $200m has been paid out.

The Labour Government increased the subsidy from 12.5 per cent in 2007, against Treasury advice. Trevor Mallard, the minister at the time, said his government sometimes disregarded Treasury advice because of "ideological differences".

The makers of the world's highest-grossing film, Avatar, received nearly $45m in subsidies. And producers of King Kong pocketed nearly $49m.

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  1. Trevor Mallard, the minister at the time, said his government sometimes disregarded Treasury advice because of “ideological differences”.

    And by ideological differences, they mean Treasury is mean because they won’t just give until it hurts.

  2. But won’t somebody think of the Hobbits?

  3. Stadiums bring in 10X the amount we’re giving away to billionaires. It’s a win/win situation.

  4. And producers of King Kong pocketed nearly $49m.

    And that’s in 1933 dollars!

  5. Who isn’t subsidized?

    Pharma, Oil, Farm, and Defense/War are the biggest whores out there.

    (But those damn libs run Tech)

    When I saw this H&R title I thought it was about the newly approved Film Futures Trading derivatives market.

    I want some of that action for real.

    1. Did you have a point, or are you just killing time until your meds kick in?

      1. Give shrike some latitude, Hugh. You notice he mentioned not Rush Limbaugh or A.M. Radio.

        Where you see failure, I see marked improvement.

      2. Yes, our government exists to bolster our corporate masters.

        As an investor this is the #1 theme in capitalism you should know.

        Its no accident that the NAZ hit 5000 in 2000 and with Halliburton at $8 and Lockheed at $16.

        Then the oily Bushpigs came in and reversed the subsidies – like magic! the situation reversed itself! Defense and oil skyrocketed and tech plummeted.

        If you guys were truly into markets you might know this.

        1. I don’t think it takes any particular wisdom or surprise to note that defense spending massively increased under Bush.

          I’m a bit surprised by your apparent insinuation that the heights of the tech bubble in 2000 was sustainable, though.

          This post was originally about New Zealand, though, which doesn’t subsidize its farming much.

          However, we already knew that shrike was a big fan of bailouts and subsidies.

        2. You are truly a world-class idiot. The NASDAQ peaked on March 10, 2000, at 5048.62. On January 20, 2001, Bush took office and the NASDAQ was at 2770.38. The tech-heavy NASDAQ lost half of its value before Bush bumbled into office.

          1. Shhhhhh. You’re going to mess up this performance art with facts.

          2. Its no accident that the NAZ hit 5000 in 2000 and with Halliburton at $8 and Lockheed at $16.

            Where did I go wrong again?

            That is a statement of FACT.

            If Gore had been seated he might have invested in universal broadband instead of a FUCKING USELESS WAR!

            I simply stated the obvious – the Bushpigs love oil and war – and Iraqs constitution of both.

            1. Apparently so does Obama.

        3. Spoken like a true anti-capitalist, our shrike. He never ceases to disappoint.

      3. Yes, our government exists to bolster our corporate masters.

        As an investor this is the #1 theme in capitalism you should know.

        Its no accident that the NAZ hit 5000 in 2000 and with Halliburton at $8 and Lockheed at $16.

        Then the oily Bushpigs came in and reversed the subsidies – like magic! the situation reversed itself! Defense and oil skyrocketed and tech plummeted.

        If you guys were truly into markets you might know this.

        1. ahhh – so good it printed twice.

          you minions may respond to either pearl of wisdom.

          My investment advice is free for the year 2001 only.

          1. My investment advice is free for the year 2001 only.

            Well then, I shall simply flip this little lever here…

          2. Heck, I can give you some excellent investment advice for 2001 also! Let me do a little Googling first…

            1. That is why its free.

              Ok – today. I love Calpine (CPN) – 99% modern natural gas power plants.

              But coal-fired plants need to drop their subsidies first.

  6. Brownlee, who oversees the subsidies, attacked the report as uncreative and said he would ignore the advice.

    Frankly, the requirement that government reports must be “uncreative” should be written into the Constitution.

  7. faced with cold hard data showing them to be stealing from the poor and giving to the rich

    Or “Robbin the Hood”, how government subsidies hurt everyone, especially those they purport to help.

  8. “Treasury has a generally bad attitude towards economic development…”

    Yep, lousy bastards at Treasury want a bad economy and a bankrupt country. See, libtards, this is what happens when you put free-market worshippers in charge of the purse-strings.

  9. NJow I know who to thank for Avatar! Thank you New Zealand.

  10. But what about the externalities!!!???

  11. Fuck New Zealand. I don’t want tax dollars going for this kind of thing in the US (I know, they do), but if you’re talking about Americans sticking it to taxpayers in other countries, well put me first in line to get some of those sheep testicles or whatever people in New Zealand use for currency.

    1. Hey, New Zealand is my back-up country if the U.S. flames out.

      1. They pulled off a hell of a result today.

        1. Messed up Slovakia’s chances.

        2. I know, and none of us even play soccer.

          1. Nelsen resembles a footballer. Maybe Simon Elliot. Not sure about the rest though.

            1. I have to say, they looked really, really out of their depth, but the last minute goal was pretty cool.

              1. Just saw the highlight of the NZ goal, sweet finish, although Slovakia had some shit marking on that one.

                If New Zealand decides to leave Oceania, will the whole OFC just fold into the AFC (I mean I don’t think Solomon Islands will qualify on the .5 OFC WC allotment anytime soon)?

                1. It would make the geographic area spanned by AFC impossibly large for the small OFC nations. AFC is arguably already too big. Japan v Saudi is probably only possible because both countries are very rich and subsidize the shit out of their national teams.

          1. Caught a bit of Brazil and Kim Jong Il’s prisoners and thought that they were playing in the middle of a bee hive. And there was a rumor that the NK fans were actually Chinese actors paid to cheer NK. Bizarre.

    2. actually, we started subscribing to Ron Paul’s newsletters, and are putting all our sheep testicles in gold.

  12. In a related subject, I saw The A-Team over the weekend and (spoiler alert) it was all kinds of awesome.

    1. Please describe “awesome”. Also, we need to do some calibration questioning: which of the following movies did you also think were “awesome”?

      1. Armageddon
      2. Transformers 2
      3. Con Air
      4. National Treasure
      5. Gone in Sixty Seconds
      6. Twilight
      7. Sex and the City 2
      8. Independence Day
      9. Battle Royale
      10. Ichi the Killer

      1. There’s something strangely similar about those movies. At least among the American ones.

        1. Shhh. This is a serious request. I have heard that people have been saying The A-Team is really fun, but I have to determine what they mean by “fun” or “awesome”.

      2. 1. Haven’t seen.
        2. Haven’t seen.
        3. Meh.
        4. Haven’t seen.
        5. Haven’t seen.
        6. Haven’t seen.
        7. Haven’t seen.
        8. Arrghhh! We hates it!
        9. Awesome.
        10. Haven’t seen.

      3. Since I poked fun at you earlier today, I’ll play. And yes, I know what your answers are already.

        1. god-awful and I wish I could unsee it
        2. will never watch
        3. kinda enjoyable the first time, absolutely no rewatch value
        4. terrible
        5. terrible
        6. will never watch
        7. will never watch, even accidentally
        8. below average the first time, absolutely no rewatch value
        9. haven’t seen it
        10 haven’t seen it

        My take on the A-Team: I haven’t seen it. But season 1 of Justice League Unlimited is a great way to kill time before A-Team shows up on netflix. Imagine The Question as 75% the way Ditko intended him, and 25% Fox Mulder.

        1. I’m surprised by the lack of hate for Con Hair, which I thought was horrid.

          Yes, the hair is intentional.

          1. You and I have more than enough hate to go around for Con Air, dude.

            1. I still can’t believe I ever watched it. Damn earlier me!

        2. LD, I recommend 9 and 10 highly. But I’d like to see something in the theater, and I was hoping that The A-Team might be watchable and might come to The Big Picture so I can drink martinis while watching it.

          Alas, I fear neither is to be.

      4. 1. meh
        2. double meh (film remakes of the toons of my youth all seem to suck :/)
        3. Nick cage is a guilty pleasure 😛
        4. fun but not great worth at least 1 watch
        5. meh
        6. OMG really?
        7. see above
        8. loved it
        9/10. Watch them once a month!

        1. Nick Coppola was fine when he was doing movies like Raising Arizona–which is a great flick. Not so much his action or, well, any of his other movies since that era.

            1. Who could?

          1. Bad Lieutenant 2 was pretty damn entertaining if you have 90 minutes to kill.

      5. Armageddon is one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. You cowards can go ahead and proclaim how much you hate it because you think it makes you look cool, but if you didn’t simultaneously shed a tear and jizz your pants when Bruce Willis (spoiler alert) sacrificed himself for all of humanity, then you’re unAmerican or emo or something. You probably read books that have been made or are planning to be made into movies. Like saps.

        I won’t dignify the others on the list other than to say that I will, for some reason, watch Con Air and Independence Day when I find them while flipping around. (Maybe it’s because one has Chief O’Brien and the other has Data.) But only stop on them on premium channels. Breaking up theatrical films with commercials should be illegal. That’s where free enterprise fails us.

        And I won’t watch Japanese films because I’m still not over Pearl Harbor. (The attack itself and also because the attack brought forth that awful movie of the same name.)

        Where was I? Oh yeah, The A-Team brought their A Game. (I think I stole that line from someone else.)

      6. 1. Bad
        2. Bad (except for Peter Cullen)
        3. Can’t remember
        4. Very good
        5. Average (chase scenes cancel out some of the bad acting and plot)
        6. Bad
        7. Didn’t See
        8. Good (yes I know that’s a shunning around here, but ID4 was the War of the Worlds remake before the War of the Worlds remake was made, and it was 10 times better than the Tom Cruise POS)
        9. Never seen
        10. Never seen

  13. It’s rather refreshing to hear about a Treasury that remembers how to say “No.”

  14. I think it’s high time we arm treasurers, exchequers, controllers, etc and give them license to kill when gummint paper-pushers publicly contradict economic realities in order to save their own tax-fattened hides, such as in this case.

  15. Any way we can repurpose this knowledge to get the big studios to stop funding shitty films?

    1. It is too late for us, my son.

  16. Only government could help produce a total trainwreck like Avatar. In the words of my genteel Southern uncle, “Avatar was a dogshit movie.”

  17. Didn’t NZ get rid of all farm subsidies? Why wouldn’t they think that film subsidies would be just as useless?

    1. AFAIK, they never did have much in the way of farm subsidies.

      What they had until 1972+/- was the Commonwealth Preference system which guaranteed that Britain and other Commonwealth countries would give each other preferred treatment in trade policy.

      This meant a guaranteed market for New Zealand lamb, mutton and wool and Australian* beef as Britain erected high tarriff barriers to lower cost non-Commonwealth producers (like Argentina).

      But then Britain joined the Common market and the gravy train derailed. It took close to fifteen years for NZ’s economy to adjust to non-Commonwealth preference trade.

      Australia and Canada were less affected by the break since they had both been developing markets other that Britain for years.

      *Australia has few or no agricultural subsidies as well.

  18. Film “subsidies” are just a way for gubmint to exert more control.

    Regulations, fees and subsidies just keep the bureaucrats ‘in the game’, while distorting the market against more efficient operators.

    If it was actually about encouraging business and not expanding bureaucratic influence, they’d just get out of the way.

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