Taxpayer-financed trip to Oz
When Oz the Great and Power-fid hit theaters in March, it was not the most expensive movie ever made. But with a reported production and marketing cost of $325 million, it was an unusually pricey film, even compared with similarly effects-driven spectacles.
To help finance the picture, the movie's backers resorted to a now-common practice: moving the production to a state with lavish film subsidies. In this case, that state was Michigan, which has one of the most generous film subsidy programs in the nation.Hie filmmakers received almost $40 million to shoot in the state. As the free market Mackinac Center for Public Policy reported, that works out to a little more than the price of one movie ticket for each resident of Michigan. Hie film was initially granted its subsidy in 2010, when the program rebated Hollywood moviemakers up to 42 percent of any production expenses they incurred within the state.
The state government also agreed to back $18 million in municipal bonds to help finance the production, using state pension funds as a guarantee.The deal was structured so that if investors didn't pay, state retirees would. The investors didn't come through.
By the time the movie opened to the public, Michigan Motion Picture Studios (MMPS), a production company that filmed Oz in Pontiac, had missed three payments on its bond obligations. The state retirement system has filled the gaps, paying at least $1.68 million on behalf of MMPS in the year before the film's release.
Black market booms?; make banks pay for their own mistakes; food truck rules; police dogs and searches; gun control-for the children; an artist on getting ripped off
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
Most Popular Stories
- Pickup Discounts Boost September Auto Sales
- Kurdish Militia Still Lack Weapons, Training
- Lexus Luxury Compact Sedan Wins Buyers
- Review: Pay by Phone or Just Keep Using Plastic?
- Ebola Victim Was Sent Home by Dallas Hospital
- N.Y. Ups Awards of State Contracts to Minorities
- Group Offers Online Help for College Students
- Dallas Parents Fear Students Exposed to Ebola
- Why the Bond Market Isn't as Safe as You Think
- Baker Hughes to Disclose Fracking Chemicals