Entertainment & Arts

Thor: The Dark World claims £22m UK tax rebate

Thor
Chris Hemsworth played the superhero Thor in the action movie sequel

Disney claimed a £22.4m tax rebate from the UK Government as an incentive to film Thor: The Dark World in the country, financial documents show.

The government offers tax relief to encourage studios to film in the UK.

The producers of major movies can claim up to 20% of their British costs back if they spend more than a quarter of the film's total budget in the UK.

Much of the Thor sequel was filmed in and around London and at Pinewood Shepperton Studios.

The movie, which was released last November, saw Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as the Marvel Comics' god of thunder, who battles to save Earth from evil forces.

It is one of a number of high-profile movies that have been attracted to the UK by the tax breaks, among other factors. British films can also claim tax relief if they film in the UK.

Big-budget sets

Documents from the production company that was set up to make the film show that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was due to pay £22.4m in tax credit between 2011-2013.

The film's total budget was $235m (£137m), according to BoxOffice.com, and went on to make $645m (£377m) at the global box office.

The filming was based at Pinewood Shepperton, with some scenes filmed at the Oxo Tower in London, the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Bourne Wood in Surrey and even on a London Underground train.

According to The Location Guide website, a "coronation chamber" took 20 weeks to construct, while a street for Thor's Asgard home took almost four months and was "the largest build Marvel had ever put together".

Tax incentive

Figures from HMRC said that a total of £1.1bn was paid to 1,050 films in tax relief between January 2007 and May 2013.

HMRC declined to confirm whether the sum paid to Disney for Thor: The Dark World was a record.

In 2013, foreign film-makers spent £868m making 37 movies in the UK, according to figures from the British Film Institute.

In the financial year 2012-13, producers claimed £202m in film tax relief for pictures including Maleficent, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Monuments Men, according to the Treasury.

When Thor: The Dark World came out, Marvel production president Kevin Feige said: "There's a very good tax incentive that lures the studios in.

"But what keeps us coming back are the amazing crews."

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