Avatar producers should pay back taxpayer subsidies
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union congratulates Wētā FX on their success at the Oscars with Avatar: The Way of Water but is disappointed that it is tainted by the millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies that franchise has received.
Taxpayers have forked out over $140 million in subsidies for the Avatar sequels, the first of which grossed almost $3.7 billion. In the five years to 2026, taxpayers will have paid more than $1 billion to wealthy film production companies, including one owned by Jeff Bezos – the world’s third richest man.
Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Callum Purves, said:
“The Government needs to explain why the film industry is special enough to receive favourable treatment over other industries. Every dollar taxed to fund these subsidies is a dollar that could have been spent improving public services or reducing the tax burden on Kiwis.
“James Cameron has publicly stated that the film is generating a profit so it is time for taxpayers to see a return on their investment.
“We urge the producers of Avatar to express their gratitude to New Zealanders by paying back the generous subsidies that have been provided by taxpayers over the years."