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Box Office Flop – New Zealand Film Commission faces restructuring and layoffs

Summarised by Centrist

The reviews are in, and nearly half the staff at NZ Film Commission face being left on the cutting room floor after $85 million worth of taxpayer funding was gambled on more than 40 box office disasters. What went wrong?

The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), responsible for investing in New Zealand’s film industry and promoting the country as a filming location, is facing significant  staff layoffs. 

The NZ Herald reports that sources say up to 21 of 53 staff roles are potentially being cut. 

John Barnett, a respected figure in the screen industry, criticises the “indulgent” approach of producing films with minimal box office impact. He suggests a merger between the NZFC and New Zealand On Air (NZOA). He says that between 2020 and 2023, NZFC spent about $85M on more than 50 films that made less than $14M at the box office. 

The Herald quotes Barnett: 

“That was a woeful 3% of the total New Zealand box office with an enormous NZFC admin overhead which clearly chose non-performers – about five films did over $1.5m or 100k admissions; 90 per cent took almost nothing.”

Read more over at The NZ Herald (paywalled)

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