New Zealand / Press Releases
Big Picture: COVID-19 Control Assists Film and Stage Producers

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by Daisy Feller
Jun 22 2020

New Zealand’s success in containing COVID-19 is anticipated to present significant opportunities for the country’s $1.1 billion Motion Picture and Video Production industry. New Zealand has an established global reputation for unique, scenic filming destinations. While other countries continue to battle COVID-19, the relatively lower disruption in New Zealand will likely make it more attractive as a film location for major big-screen productions.

‘New Zealand is closer to normal operations than many other film-producing nations. In a sign of New Zealand’s value as a filming location, the crew of James Cameron’s Avatar have returned to resume filming this month, despite the requirement to quarantine for 14 days’, said IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst, Daisy Feller.

The production of Avatar is expected to set a precedent for more big-budget projects seeking border exemptions to enter the country. Revenue for the Motion Picture and Video Production industry is forecast to increase at an annualised 3.1% over the five years through 2025-26, to reach $1.3 billion.

‘New Zealand’s unique position as both a highly regarded filming destination and one of the countries that has most successfully contained COVID-19 is anticipated to amplify its global competitiveness for new projects’, said Ms Feller.

Government assistance

New Zealand’s nearly $500 million Post-Production Services industry has been relatively unhindered by COVID-19, as many industry activities can be undertaken remotely and therefore were not required to halt due to social distancing. However, a weakened project pipeline due to global production delays is anticipated to negatively affect industry revenue this year.

‘Post production in New Zealand relies heavily on government funding, such as the New Zealand Film Commission offering a 20% rebate on qualifying expenditure of up to $25 million, and 18% above $25 million’, said Ms Feller.

Ongoing government support for post-production activities, combined with an anticipated boost in the pipeline of projects undertaking production domestically, is forecast to cause industry revenue to grow at an annualised 3.0% over the five years through 2025-26, to total $579.4 million. High-profile international projects currently undergoing post-production in New Zealand include Marvel’s Black Widow and Disney’s Mulan.

‘Government rebates have been vital to boosting the global competitiveness of New Zealand’s post-production sector, and this trend is anticipated to continue over the next five years’.

Without continued government support to attract large foreign productions, over 3,000 local firms operating in film production and post-production will likely face increased competition from countries such as Australia, which has flagged a potential increase in funding for its own film sector.

Performing arts

The arts sector in New Zealand is expected to bounce back following the elimination of all COVID-19 restrictions on event attendance, enabling large performances to resume. Arts firms have recently been supported by government assistance, including $25 million for Creative New Zealand and $2.03 million for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Consequently, the Performing Arts industry is forecast to recover and grow at an annualised 1.9% over the five years through 2025-26, to total $260.1 million.

‘The injection of funding support at this critical time is anticipated preserve the long-term viability of the industry’, said Ms Feller.

IBISWorld reports used to develop this release:

For more information, to obtain industry reports, or arrange an interview with an analyst, please contact:
Jason Aravanis
Strategic Media Advisor – IBISWorld Pty Ltd
Tel: 03 9906 3647
Email: mediarelations@ibisworld.com