Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Paramount Pulling Out of British Studio

Paramount's new regime under CEO Brad Grey has decided to shut down production of its costly The Watchmen feature at Pinewood Studios near London and move it to a different country. Producer Lloyd Levin told the British trade publication Screen Daily that the decision to move the $120-million production was due to "the expense of shooting in the UK with the [unfavorable] exchange rate and the loss of certain rebates." Pinewood Shepperton, the company that owns Pinewood Studios, recently said that several productions had been put on hold because of the British government's decision to alter its tax incentives to filmmakers. Shares in Pinewood Shepperton plummeted 15 percent on word of the Watchmen pull-out. The company issued a statement saying that it "will seek to procure alternative customers for the stages but is unlikely to be able to recover all the anticipated shortfall."

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