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Iron Man 3 puts spotlight on North Carolina

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Get ready for lots of superhero action.  Iron Man 3 is making a big impact in the theaters but will it have the same impact on North Carolina's economy?

The Marvel franchise rolls in some intense new villains, and Iron Man is put to the test trying to rid the world of the ultimate enemy.  Portions of the movie were filmed in Duplin and other counties in North Carolina; now two reports have varying statistics on how much Tony Stark saved the state's economy.

"It opened nationally last week and it made over $200 million internationally.  So that's how many eyeballs are seeing North Carolina," said Aaron Syrett, Director of the Film Officer of North Carolina.

But does that translate to dollars?

A report released by the Motion Picture Association of America broke down a 25 percent refund tax credit our state gives to film productions like iron man.

  • The film generated $8.99 in economic output for every dollar of tax credit received by the
    production.
  • The film contributed $6.50 in value added for every dollar of tax credit received by the production.
  • The film created 102 full-time equivalent positions for every $1 million in tax credit received by the production.
  • The film generated $5.20 in labor income for every dollar of tax credit received by the production.

But A second report by the state General Assembly found only a fraction of the film industry's job claims in 2011 could be directly tied to tax incentives.

"The primary reason you're seeing a difference in the studies is what they define as the film industry," said Josh Ellis, spokesperson for the state Department of Commerce.

Ellis says the General Assembly's study uses a different economic model which counts jobs differently.

Syrett says it's a hard factor to quantify.

"It's a creative industry," he said, "We have such a pipeline of film jobs, now our workers are going from one film to one film staying employed year around."

A bill reducing tax credits for production companies awaits action in the North Carolina house. 

Iron Man 3 opens in theatres Friday.

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