AUCKLAND — New Zealand’s screen production industry earnings are down this year as “The Lord of the Rings” cash begins to exit the picture. But it is still a healthy improvement on 1999, before production on the trilogy began, says the Screen Production and Development Assn.
Its annual survey says revenue from the film, TV and commercials industry was NZ$923 million ($469 million) in the year to March 30, compared with $589 million in 2001. But it is up on 1999’s $409 million.
Investment in production was also up vs. 1999 from $156 million to $225 million this year, but down from the $290 million investment recorded last year.
‘Lord’ of local prod’n
Association chief exec Jane Wrightson said overall patterns in the industry were not clear because of “Rings.” The three-pic project along with Tom Cruise epic “The Last Samurai,” due to start filming Down Under in January, would affect next year’s result.
Fewer foreign and domestic movies were made during the survey, but the industry was “relatively healthy,” Wrightson said.
Foreign exchange earnings fell from $247 million last year to $183 million this year, compared with $78.8 million in 1999.