Indonesian Tax Dispute Shuts Out Hollywood Blockbusters
The months of June, July and August are when Hollywood releases its blockbusters, the big-budget films aimed at appealing to global audiences. But this year in Indonesia, an ongoing tax dispute between the government and film importers continues to shut out new releases and cinema owners say it is crushing their profits.
B-grade horror flicks and Thai comedies like Dear Galileo, are among the limited choices facing Indonesian moviegoers this season. Nearly four months after the Motion Picture Association of America stopped sending films to the country in protest against a new tax levy, Indonesians say they are frustrated and embarrassed by not having access to the latest blockbusters.
Film buff Walter Francine says he fears missing out on big-name summer sequels, some of which are already showing up in neighboring countries.
“We’re quite disappointed actually,” he said. “We cannot see Thor, Green Lantern and then Pirates of the Caribbean maybe. Some of my friends may be going to Singapore.”