Economic Impact Example: King Kong Movie Pumps $70 Million in Hawaii’s Economy

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The production of Kong: Skull Island, from Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, and Tencent Pictures, generated a major boost to Hawaii’s economy, according to recent data from the studios. The film generated more than $70.5 million in local economic activity and hired more than 400 local workers.

Kong: Skull Island spent 42 days on location in Hawaii, with a significant portion of the production spending benefiting a wide array of in-state businesses and industries. Key expenditures included:

  • Over $8 million spent on local rentals and purchases for set decoration, production, and other supplies.
  • More than $2 million on transportation, including truck and car rentals.
  • Nearly $2 million on local catering and other food items for the cast and crew.
  • Over $2 million on hardware and lumber supplies.
  • Nearly $5 million on lodging.

“Hawaii’s film and media industries are a strong economic drivers for the state.  These type of large scale creative projects help strengthen our workforce and support local businesses, while providing global awareness of Hawaii as a creative hub in the Pacific” said Luis P. Salaveria, director, State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

“Our film and television industry directly employs over 2,200 Hawaii residents and pays more than $100 million locally in wages,” said MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd. “Thanks to the state’s competitive production incentive program, and of course the gorgeous scenery and landscape, Hawaii has been an outstanding location for major productions like Jurassic World, Hawaii Five-O, and now the visually impressive Kong: Skull Island.”

IATSE Local 665 Business Representative Irish Barber added, “Productions like Kong: Skull Island are drawn here because of our beautiful landscapes and our competitive Film Tax Incentive. These shows are critical to our film industry. They hire hundreds of local film crew and actors, saving thousands in travel and housing. They support our visitor industry by purchasing airfare, booking hotel rooms and renting cars. They support local businesses by renting equipment and buying consumables and building material in large quantities. They spend thousands of dollars to ship cargo here by air and by sea. All of these expenditures infuses millions of dollars into Hawaii’s economy and generates tax revenue for the state. When the film is released, Hawaii receives global exposure, marketing our beautiful locations to the world.”

“Through the Film Tax Credit, the production receives a 20 percent rebate on Oahu expenses and 25 percent rebate when they film on a different island like Skull Island did when they filmed on Kauai. Extending our Film Tax Incentive beyond 2018 will retain Hawaii’s reputation as a film-friendly locale,” Barber concluded.

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