'Killshot' spending topped $700,000 for local economy

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The release date for movie partially set in Cape Girardeau has been pushed back.

"Killshot" producers pumped more than $700,000 into the Cape Girardeau economy when a portion of the movie was filmed here in January, which multiplies into a total economic impact of more than $2 million, state officials said Monday.

Meanwhile, the release date for the movie -- based on an Elmore Leonard book that was partially set in Cape Girardeau -- has been postponed from Oct. 20 to a more vague category of fall 2006.

"They haven't assigned a new hard date yet," said Jerry Jones, director of the Missouri Film Commission. "They're just saying sometime this fall, but that doesn't even mean it won't change again."

Movie publicists at the Weinstein Co. in New York would not comment on the release date change, except to say the Quentin Tarantino-produced movie is still slated for wide release and that the movie was not going directly to DVD.

The date could have been changed for a variety of reasons, Jones said, though he didn't know the specifics. The filmmakers -- including director John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") -- could still be working on the movie, Jones said.

Another possibility, he said, could be that an early screening has prompted Madden to tweak the film, which is about how a woman (Diane Lane) and her husband (Thomas Jane) become entangled in a scam with a small-time con artist and his over-the-hill hitman partner.

Jones cited a recent incident in "Spiderman 3," in which a poor test screening caused the film's producers to call back actors to put in more action sequences.

"Any of those things could have happened," Jones said.

Jones also said not to rule out a local premiere in Cape Girardeau, where some of the actors with smaller roles may attend. Don't expect a theatrical trailer until there's a firm release date, he said.

But Cape Girardeau can still bank on the direct economic impact, which was at least $700,000, according to LeAnn Korsmeyer, an auditor with the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Korsmeyer is preparing a report of the movie spending in order for the Weinstein Co. -- which is producing the film -- to qualify for state tax credits.

Korsmeyer could not give specifics until all the information is tallied, but she said some of the larger expenditures were for lodging, food, construction work and location fees.

Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Chuck Martin said he was pleased with the figure.

"That's a big economic impact for the small amount of time they were here," Martin said. "If somebody told us our economy could be boosted by $700,000 over a couple weeks, we'll take it every time."

Martin also said he's gotten several calls from smaller movie makers about possibly filming movies here.

"Before 'Killshot,' the number of inquiries I got? Zero," Martin said.

The amount spent here can be multiplied for a more accurate economic impact, Jones said. For every dollar spent, a multiplier reveals how much that dollar really means to the community, which in this case is close to $2 million, Jones said.

"When they spend money on construction, on payroll, on location fees, that money stays in the community and is spent several times over," he said.

The reason the state is monitoring how much was spent, he said, was because the Weinstein Co. has been approved for $350,000 in state tax credits.

But out-of-state companies that don't pay much in income tax and other taxes generally sell those tax credits, which is what Weinstein intends to do. That is a legal process, Jones said, which is usually handled by an in-state broker.

smoyers@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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