British Studio Says Inability To Expand Hurts Profits
ritain's Pinewood Shepperton Studios may have reported strong growth for its film division with $54 million in revenue last year, but that figure could have been substantially improved had it been allowed to expand, CEO Ivan Dunleavy indicated today (Thursday). It is a big result on the film side, he said. It demonstrates quite tangibly why we need more space. The market is there. Referring to last week's announcement that Star Wars: Episode VII will shoot at Pinewood, Dunleavy said that Disney's Lucasfilm unit had been hugely lucky to get in ahead of everyone else. Suggesting that some film companies were being turned away because of lack of studio capacity, Dunleavy asked where the two, three, four, five and others in the queue would be going. Pinewood Shepperton is continuing to press local authorities who have twice rejected its $300-million expansion plan, with a new public review of its latest modifications scheduled for Nov. 19. Legal costs associated with the previous application reportedly soared to more than $10 million, and they have already risen to $3 million for its revised proposal, the studio acknowledged.