TN taxpayers lost money to pay for box office bomb starring Ashley Judd

TN taxpayers lost money to pay for box office bomb starring Ashley Judd

Taxpayers sacrificed more than $1 million so Ashley Judd could film a movie in Tennessee, “The Identical,” which critics panned and bombed at the box office.

The state forked over an additional $1.8 million so Miley Cyrus could film “Hannah Montana: The Movie” in Tennessee.

America also got a TV show, “Still the King,” about an Elvis impersonator with a batch of personal troubles. That show cost Tennessee taxpayers $2.6 million — and, coincidentally, stars Miley’s daddy, Billy Ray.

Anyone worried about what became of “Dallas” star Charlene Tilton can relax. She’s filming a movie in Knoxville alongside country singer Lauren Alaina. The movie “The Road Less Traveled,” is about one woman’s quest to find the perfect wedding dress.

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Total cost to Tennessee taxpayers for Tilton’s new movie — $105,000.

Miley Cyrus (photo courtesy of Flickr.com and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/_

Miley Cyrus (photo courtesy of Flickr.com and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/_

These examples are chronicled in a new report summarizing what Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development has thus far spent to entice TV and film crews to create Hollywood-scale productions in the Volunteer State.

Tennessee taxpayers have or will have paid millions to 66 separate productions in the state, according to the report.

That amount includes $39.7 million ECD officials have already given away, including $21.5 million for the fictionalized “Nashville” when it was on ABC.

That’s not including an additional $29.4 million state officials are giving other productions this year, including $8.5 million for “Nashville’s” fifth season, now on CMT.

Currently in production is “All Saints,” described by PR Newswire as a movie about a pastor and his interactions with a group of refugees from Southeast Asia.

Tennessee taxpayers will lose $827,695.

Another movie, “Other Versions of You,” about a man who explores a parallel dimension to find the love of his life, will cost Tennessee taxpayers $72,500.

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The report says ECD officials have approved grants totaling more than $375,000 for movies called “Indivisible” and “Manny.”

Tennessee Watchdog could not find anything about either film online.

Charlene Tilton (photo courtesy of YouTube)

Charlene Tilton (photo courtesy of YouTube)

Meanwhile, the movies “The Diary of Rachel Scott,” “Rounding Third,” and the TV series “Million Dollar Quartet” recently completed production in Tennessee and accepted more than $4.5 million in state incentives.

As reported, Robin Williams filmed one of his final movies, “Boulevard,” in Nashville at the expense of $302,000 in state taxpayer money.

ECD officials can give away this money because of the state’s Visual Content Act of 2006.

Since that time, movie and film productions starring Larry the Cable Guy, Nicole Kidman and others have filmed in Tennessee.

One movie, about evangelist Billy Graham, titled “Billy: The Early Years,” accepted $537,277 in incentives, the ECD report says.

Contact Christopher Butler at chris@tennesseewatchdog.org 

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