MPAA Touts Economic Impact for California From ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

MPAA Touts Economic Impact for California
Courtesy of Disney

The first public screening of “A Wrinkle in Time” took place on Saturday in Compton, and the movie represents the first major studio big-budget release directed by a woman of color: Ava DuVernay.

It’s also one of a handful of $100 million-plus movies to receive California’s film and TV tax credit: $18.1 million.

The MPAA on Saturday released figures, compiled by The Walt Disney Co., on the economic impact of the film. The trade association says that it contributed more than $40.2 million in wages to nearly 4,000 local workers, and generated $110 million in economic activity.

The movie was on location for 200 days, including in Sequoia Park in Eureka. According to the MPAA, the production spent more than $14.3 million on local rentals and the purchase of set decoration and production supplies; $1.3 million on transportation, such as truck and car rentals; $980,000 on catering; $980,000 on wardrobe and dry cleaning; and $350,000 on lodging.

The tax incentive program was expanded in 2015 in part to try to bring more big-budget features to California, which had disappeared to other states like Georgia and countries like Australia and Great Britain. In that respect, the program has had some success, but it also will face renewal in the not-too-distant future. The $330 million per year in incentives expire on June 30, 2020. Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) took some convincing to expand the credit in 2014, and the outlook for further renewal or expansion may depend on the state’s budget picture in two years.

In the past decade, there has been a bonanza of state and local film credits being offered to productions, and there has been an effort in Florida to restart a program there. But incentives offered in West Virginia were recently eliminated, and Kentucky may be phasing out its program as well.