Politicians blast $50 funding on 'failure' film

“Australia” may not have reached the lofty B.O. heights that Fox had hoped for, but $50 million in Oz incentive coin should soften the blow — unless you’re an Australian politician.

The sudsy romance from Baz Luhrmann was eligible for about $50 million in Oz public funding — a record amount paid to any one film — through Australia’s Producer Offset, which pays domestic production companies a 40% rebate on most domestic expenditures.

As the pic chugs towards $200 million worldwide, shy of Fox’s “Titanic”-like aspirations, some officials think the incentives are too generous, with one local parliamentarian telling an Oz paper that the pic’s “failure” — real or perceived — was reason enough to push for full disclosure on all public spending on films.

But Fox and other studios can breathe easy: Neither the Rudd Labor government nor the opposition Liberal Party, which devised the incentive, support such a move.

Even in the face of economic turmoil, both Australia’s domestic and foreign (15%) rebates remain intact and uncapped.

Disclosure rules are not about to change either as the legislation is governed by tax laws that guarantee privacy.

Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0