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California Film Tax Credits Go to Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born,’ ‘It,’ ‘Annabelle 2’

The California Film Commission has selected 13 feature films for tax credits worth $53.9 million in its latest round of incentives to keep production in California.

The films selected include Warner Bros.’ “A Star Is Born,” New Line’s “It,” “Annabelle 2,” Paramount’s “Dangerous Amusement Park,”  Lionsgate’s “Latin Lover” and George Clooney’s comedy-drama “Suburbicon.”

The top allocation of $9.5 million went to “Overnight on 42nd Street,” followed by $8.9 million for “A Star Is Born,” which has Bradley Cooper attached to direct. “It,” the bigscreen version of the Stephen King horror-thriller, and “Bright”  followed with $7.2 million  each.

“Dangerous Amusement Park” was fifth-highest with $4.1 million, followed by Jean-Marc Vallee’s Janis Joplin biopic “Get It While You Can” at $2.6 million.

The latest application period was held from Jan. 11 to 24 and drew 174 applications — the fourth application period overall for the recently expanded tax credit program. The commission said the list of newly approved applicants is noteworthy because of the number of projects that may shoot extensively outside the Los Angeles 30-mile studio zone.

Two of the newly approved films – Janis Joplin biopic “Get it While You Can” and “Save the Cat” — plan to shoot in San Francisco and central California, respecitvely. Four of the 13 projects have indicated tentative plans to film outside the zone.

“One of our goals for the newly expanded tax credit program is to start bringing more production jobs and spending to regions statewide, and we are beginning to see that happen with this latest allocation,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “Nearly half of the projects announced today may shoot at least partially outside ‘the zone.’”

Other approved projects: “Beautiful Boy” from Inverness Prods., Warner Bros.’ “Bright,” “Dead of Night” and “La LLorona” from Mutiny Pictures and Disney’s “Overnight on 42nd Street.”

California’s 7-year-old incentive program was expanded last year from $100 million in tax credits annually to $330 million — and feature film projects with budgets of more than $75 million are now eligible.

In early June, the commission announced that “Veep,” “American Horror Story,” “Secrets and Lies” and “Hindsight” had been approved to receive $27 million in tax credits for relocating to California, with six other new series — “Code Black,” “Crazy Ex Girlfriend,” “Rosewood,” “Heart Breakers,” “Utopia” and “Westworld” — and the pilot for “Snowfall” receiving a total of $55 million in credits.

The new program also provides that the selection for tax credits be based on each project’s “jobs ratio score,” which provides a ranking according to wages paid to below-the-line workers and qualified spending for vendor payments/equipment.

The tax credits — which cover up 25% of production expenditures within the state — become available only after filming has been completed and the commission has verified that the project is in compliance with regulations.

The commission announced in August that there were eight studio films and three independent projects to receive $55 million in tax credits under its expanded program, including New Line’s “Conjuring 2” — a sequel to its surprise 2013 horror hit — along with Warner Bros.’ “CHIPs” comedy starring Dax Shepard, Paramount’s “Action Park” and “The God Particle,” Fox’s “Avon Man” and “Why Him,” and Disney’s “Overnight” and “Whale.”

The three independent features selected were Alcon’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” “Code Name Veil” and Rancho Rosa’s film version of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.”

Eight features received credits in 2014: Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys” and “American Sniper,” “Horrible Bosses 2,” Mark Wahlberg’s “The Gambler,” “Earth to Echo,” “The Purge: Anarchy,” “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” and “Ouija” with $7.9 million.

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