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International involvement in the screen industry

Information is for the 2008 financial year, and for the 2008 financial year compared with the 2007 financial year unless otherwise stated.

International revenue in the screen production sector

The screen production sector is made up of screen production companies and contractors. Work in the sector includes both production (eg writing, filming) and post-production (eg editing, animation) activities.

Businesses in the screen production sector are asked to report revenue by country of origin. 

  • Almost half (47 percent) of screen production revenue earned was from outside New Zealand. 
  • At $591 million, revenue from overseas sources was up 59 percent from 2007. 
  • The majority (84 percent) of international revenue for the sector came from the United States. 
  • Revenue from the United States increased 73 percent and accounted for the majority of the increase in international revenue. 
  • Revenue sourced from the United Kingdom for screen productions was down from $14 million to $5 million.

Screen production companies’ international revenue 

Screen production companies create work intended for final users, such as television stations, corporate customers, advertising agencies, and distributors. 

  • In 2008, more than half (58 percent) of screen production companies’ revenue was from overseas. 
  • At $542 million, screen production companies’ international revenue was 79 percent higher than in 2007. 
  • Of international revenue, 89 percent or $481 million was from the United States. 
  • Revenue from the United States for screen production companies in 2008 was approximately double that of 2007.

Gross revenue received by screen production sector, by country of origin

Contractors’ international revenue 

Contractors are freelancers, sole traders, individuals, and businesses who provide services or equipment to another screen production company on contract.

Businesses are asked to report revenue earned from a particular country or country grouping based on where the individual or business who pays them usually resides. If the business was paid by a New Zealand business on behalf of a business located overseas, the revenue is recorded as being from New Zealand. 

  • In 2008, 15 percent of revenue was from overseas. 
  • The United States contributed 35 percent of contractors’ international revenue. 
  • Contractors earned $17 million from the United States, 63 percent less than in 2007.


Funding is income received from government sources and the private sector with, in most cases, the expectation of recovery. Funding is a significant source of revenue in the screen industry. 

  • Overseas funding more than doubled between 2007 and 2008. 
  • The main contributor to international funding was the United States, accounting for 92 percent of international funding, and over half of all screen industry funding.

Origin of workers

Businesses were asked to indicate where employees usually reside. 

  • The majority of employment costs (98 percent) were paid to New Zealand-resident workers. 
  • No other country or country grouping contributed significantly to employment costs.

See tables 11, 13, 15–17, 22, 27, 35–39, and 42–43 under Available files for more information on international involvement  in the screen industry.

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