Star Wars goes to a galaxy far far away… (from Mexico)
Star Wars has gone the way of 11 other films in the past four years: to other countries that offer filmmakers more attractive financial incentives.
The manager of Baja Film Studios in Baja California says producers of the newest Star Wars episode had considered shooting 20% of the film in Mexico, which would have represented an economic gain of some US $20 million.
But they changed their minds because Mexico won’t offer more than 7.5% of the total spent on construction of sets and other services, according to Kurt Ignacio Honold Morales, whose Rosarito studio was used to film the James Cameron film, Titanic.
“Hollywood producers always look for the cheapest places to film,” he told Forbes México. And Mexico is not cheap by international standards in terms of incentives. He said Australia will return 20% of the filmmaker’s investment while some locations in the United States will go as high as 25%.
And there is a lot of other competition: 70 locations worldwide offer incentives for film production.
Honold Morales said the dozen films that went elsewhere took some $500 million with them.
But losing Star Wars was less about the money than what it could have meant in terms of attracting other producers in future, he said.
In Baja California they still haven’t forgotten Titanic for its economic impact, which even created new millionaires among some suppliers, reported SanDiegoRed.
Mexico has not lost out completely in filmmaking. Films and TV series such as Deep Blue Sea, Tomorrow Never Dies, Pearl Harbor, Little Boy, All is Lost, Again the Sun and Fear the Walking Dead were all made in Mexico over the past 19 years.