Foreign Production Boosts Ontario’s Economy in 2014

Domestic and foreign film and TV production spending in Ontario, Canada, contributed CAN$1.29 billion ($1.01 billion) to the provincial economy in 2014, up from $892 million in 2013, the Ontario Media Development Corp. announced Tuesday.
Foreign (primarily U.S.) film and TV represented the largest growth area in 2014, jumping to $394 million from $292 million in 2013.
 
While the number of foreign features (15) produced in 2014 matched 2013, last year’s budgets increased 42.6% to hit $85.4 million, thanks in part to the lensing in Toronto of Adam Sandler comedy “Pixels” (Sony, Legendary) and Guillermo del Toro’s “Crimson Peak” (Universal). Productions such as Universal Cable Prods.’ “Covert Affairs” and “Suits,” above, and del Toro’s “The Strain” (FX) helped nudge up foreign spending on series, TV movies, and miniseries.
 
Domestic TV contributed $535.8 million (up from $501.8 million in 2014), with productions including successful Canuck series “Rookie Blue” and “Saving Hope” (both for NBC and CTV) and “Bitten” (Syfy, Space). Forty-three domestic features lensed in Ontario in 2014, up from 29 in 2013, but the abundance of low-budget productions contributed to a 21% decrease in budgets to $82.7 million.
 
Ontario’s production activity in the first quarter bodes well for 2015, with 19 productions lensing or in prep, including “Bravo 14” (Warner Bros.) at Pinewood Toronto studios, returning TV series “Defiance,” “Hannibal” and “Orphan Black,” and new shows “Damien” (Fox TV), “The Girlfriend Experience” (Starz) and “Heroes: Reborn” (NBC).
Earlier this month, the Canadian Media Production Assn. released its economic report on Canada’s screen-based industry, which revealed that production volume has increased 2.1% from 2012-13 to 2013-14 to $4.587 billion, with foreign location and service production making the largest gain, due primarily to the weaker Canuck loonie and competitive tax credits.

 

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