Gov. Bev Perdue praised North Carolina's starring role in "The Hunger Games" yesterday, saying the movie will drive tourism and boost the economy.
The state landed the film using a generous suite of film incentives that allow taxpayers to subsidize big budget pictures. Click here for our report from last night details where movies have been made in the state and how taxpayer support works.
“The success of ‘The Hunger Games’ has cemented North Carolina’s status as a premier venue for making blockbuster films,” Gov. Perdue said in a news release. “North Carolina also reaps part of the film’s financial success, as the filmmakers employed nearly 5,000 people and spent about $60 million in our state. Now fans will be excited to visit the locations they see on the screen and go to places the stars visited. The money those fans spend here go to North Carolina businesses and benefit the state’s taxpayers.”
It's worth noting that Perdue pushed for a boost to North Carolina's film incentives policies after the state lost a 2009 Miley Cyrus production to Georgia, one of the other major film incentive players in the southeastern United States. Background here.
More from Perdue's Thursday news release:
The tourism boost from “The Hunger Games” will underscore the value of the state’s 25 percent film incentive. Along with great locations and a professional crew base, the incentive was a key reason the filmmakers chose North Carolina.
“‘The Hunger Games’ helped North Carolina’s film industry generate a record $220 million in spending for 2011, the incentive’s first year,” Perdue said. “We feel confident that it will help tourism spending increase for 2012 and beyond.”
In 2010, travelers spent more than $17 billion in North Carolina. That spending supported 40,000 businesses and 183,900 jobs and generated $1.5 billion in state and local taxes. It also reduced the average family tax bill by about $400.
“This is the highest-profile movie ever made in our state,” Perdue said. “As the movie’s characters might say, the odds are in our favor to see North Carolina re-emerge as one of America’s top filming destinations, one that fans will enjoy seeing on the screen and in real life.”