Evidently, crime does pay — for the residents of one Missouri town at least.
The production of Twentieth Century Fox’s crime thriller “Gone Girl” has already contributed $7 million to the local economy before it even hits theaters this Friday.
Based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl” is set in the fictional town of North Carthage, Missouri, which was recreated in Cape Girardeau instead of a studio lot.
According to data released by the studio, the film hired 116 Missourians for a shoot that lasted almost two months with jobs including 30 off-duty law enforcement officials and more than 1,400 extras.
The cast and crew stayed for over 7,000 hotel room nights, and the community will celebrate this week’s release — and the financial impetus — with an advanced screening at the local movie theater.
Located 115 miles southeast of St. Louis, Cape Girardeau has a population of approximately 38,000, many of whom work in the health care industry.
“The filming of ‘Gone Girl,’ by Twentieth Century Fox, was an overwhelmingly positive economic experience for Cape Girardeau, both in the short-term and long-term,” said Missouri State Representative Kathryn Swan. “Not only was over $7 million dollars spent in our local community during the filming, but our area will benefit from tourism in the years to come.”
The MPAA, which is pushing more states to increase their tax incentives, cited the production as a showcase of what film can bring to a local economy. It has already caused a spike in tourism in the area, including a driving tour around Cape Girardeau of “Gone Girl’s” most notable shooting spots.
“The production of “Gone Girl” is a great example of the enduring impact that the production of movies and television have on local communities throughout the nation,” explained Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA. “Movie and television productions provide a tremendous boost to the economy of hosting communities, first with the significant investments made during production and then often through increased tourism for years to come.”
The dark thriller about a man who becomes a suspect in his wife’s murder is projected to open in the $30 million range this weekend.