Gerald Butler's The Plane raises $136m for Puerto Rico economy

The project filmed in San Juan metropolitan area, Barrio Obrero and Pedrín Zorrilla Stadium 

By Melissa Kasule 22 Sep 2021

Gerald Butler's The Plane raises $136m for Puerto Rico economy

Gerald Butler helmed feature The Plane is set to bring $136m into Puerto Rico’s economy having shot entirely on the island this summer, according to the local government.

That figure includes hotel stays, withholding tax payments and other investments, according to News is my Business.

Production kicked off four months ago and has since moved across different locations in and out of the San Juan metropolitan area. It has also filmed at Barrio Obrero, the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in Ceiba and the Pedrín Zorrilla Stadium, which was transformed into a soundstage for interior shots.

Goveron Pedro Pierluisi said: “Our investment, in other words, the tax credits we granted to this project, was $26m. You don’t have to be a certified public accountant to realise that the return on this investment is excellent,”

Film tax credits available for the 2022 fiscal year have been divided among three other projects in addition to The Plane. These are the Fox drama Fantasy Island, which also shot over the summer, a sequel to The Wedding Crashers and Sony Pictures television series Gordita Chronicles, both of which are set to shoot on the island.

Pierluisi has since pitched for approval of Senate Bill 552 and House Bill 926 to the Legislative Assembly which would increase the current cap for available film industry tax credits from $38m to $100m

“The current cap makes it impossible to have additional productions here in the future. I believe we must convince the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico that this is cost-effective. So far, the Board has objected to the credit cap being greater than the $50m that it was in the past. But we’ve seen that we’re attractive to this industry and they’re knocking on our door. So, when the Legislative Assembly approves the bills, I can state our case before the Board and convince them,” he said.

Puerto Rico is very much a location in demand with 13 more projects on the waiting list, according to Rosi Acosta director of the government’s Film Industry Development Program.

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