MPAA: ‘Independence Day’ generated $44M for New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The alien sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence” may have destroyed cities across the United States.

But the film generated more than $44 million for New Mexico, where the alien-invasion movie was filmed, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

Numbers released by Twentieth Century Fox on Friday show the movie hired over 5,750 New Mexico workers and paid them around $19.4 million in wages. It also sparked more than $3.72 million spent on hardware and lumber supplies, numbered showed.

The film spent 158 days on location in New Mexico and the production, filmed at Albuquerque Studios, hired a number of New Mexico businesses.

New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis said the “Independence Day” numbers demonstrate the effect the film and television industry has on the state’s economy.

“Maybe less obvious, however, is the incredible level of skill and dedication on the part of New Mexico crew and businesses that were able to service such a demanding industry and an incredibly complex project like ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’,” Maniatis said.

The industry in recent years has stepped up productions in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

For example, the popular AMC-TV series “Breaking Bad” was filmed in Albuquerque and has generated a number of “Breaking Bad” related tours. Its prequel, “Better Call Saul,” is filming in Albuquerque.

And earlier this week, the AMC network has announced that it has renewed the series “Preacher” and will expand the second season to 13 episodes.

That show, which is filmed in Albuquerque and just completed its first season, follows a West Texas preacher named Jesse Custer, who is inhabited by a mysterious entity that causes him to develop an unusual power.

“New Mexico’s small businesses and local workers continue to reap the benefits from major productions because of the state’s competitive production tax incentive program,” MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd said.

Dodd praised New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and state lawmakers for pushing to make the state friendly to film production.

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/russell-contreras .

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