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California Lagged Behind Canada, U.K., Georgia in 2017 Film Production

California was the shooting location for 10 of the top 100 box office performers last year, trailing Canada, the U.K., and Georgia, a report by FilmL.A. showed on Wednesday.

Canada was by far the top-ranked location with 20 films, including 11 that were shot in British Columbia, with the report noting that Canada pioneered the use of production tax credits during the 1990s. Production spending on those films totaled $855 million, according to the report. The U.K. and Georgia followed with 15 movies each.

It’s the second year in a row that California has finished in fourth place in the report. Georgia was the top-ranked location in 2016 with 17, followed by the U.K. with 16, and Canada with 13. California finished as the leader in the FilmL.A. study of 2015’s top box office performers with 19 of the top 100.

The 10 California films were comprised of four animated titles — “Cars 3,” “Coco,” “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie,” and “The Boss Baby” — and six live-action movies. Two of those received state production credits, with “Annabelle: Creation” allocated $17.4 million and “How to Be a Latin Lover” given $12.8 million. “The House,” “Lady Bird,” “The Disaster Artist,” and “Home Again” were shot in California without the tax credit. Production spending for the 10 films totaled $617 million, according to the report.

California ramped up its tax credit program in 2015 by expanding its annual allocation of credits from $100 million to $330 million, and establishing a selection system that gave priority to the jobs created by the films. The California tax credit total as high as 25% of production costs — which is still short of the incentives elsewhere. In July, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that extended the program for five years into 2025.

Still, California’s yearly allocation for tax credits is dwarfed by the U.K., with $822 million invested in 2017 — the largest film incentive program worldwide — according to the report. Georgia had $800 million invested last year.

The report found that California was the primary location for music scoring on 37 of the 100 films in this year’s study, slightly more than the 35 pics scored in the state in 2016.

The next report on the top 2018 performers will show Paramount’s “Bumblebee” having received a California incentive. Films receiving the state tax credit that are due out in 2019 include Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Disney’s “Captain Marvel,” and Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick.”

“In an age when film production is an established global enterprise, California remains a top international competitor,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. “This report reinforces a fact that is increasingly well understood — that a skilled local workforce, robust infrastructure support, and a competitive film incentive are prerequisite for film project attraction at scale.”

FilmL.A. is a nonprofit agency set up to assist producers in the permitting process.

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