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Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Sherlock Holmes 3’ Tapped for $20 Million California Tax Credit

Sherlock Holmes 3,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, has been selected by the California Film Commission to receive a conditional $20.8 million tax credit for shooting in California.

Other feature films announced Monday include a Warner Bros. remake of “Little Shop of Horrors” with a $9.6 million credit; Will Smith’s “King Richard” with a $7.5 million credit for Warner Bros.; Universal’s “Purge 5” with $6.4 million; Atlas Entertainment’s “Janis” with $2.5 million; “American Pie Presents: Girls Rule” with $1.1 million; and four other projects with a $2.5 million credit — “Cherry,” “Macbeth,” “Pandora” and “Untitled Atomic Monster Film.”

The commission said the 10 projects will generate an estimated $310 million in qualified spending (defined as below-the-line wages and payments to in-state vendors). The “Sherlock Holmes” project alone will generate an estimated $106.8 million in qualified expenditures — the second highest project spending to date for Program 2.0 behind the $118 million in qualified expenditures for “Captain Marvel.”

The 2009 “Sherlock Holmes” and 2014’s “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows” each grossed more than $500 million worldwide for Warner Bros.

“California is once again competing for big-budget film projects because it’s becoming clear that chasing the highest tax credit doesn’t always provide the best value,” said California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell. “In addition to our tax credit program, we have so many resources that other locales simply can’t match.”

The 10 projects will employ an estimated 1,561 crew, 469 cast and 31,550 background actors/stand-ins over a combined 453 filming days in California. Eight of the 10 projects will shoot outside the 30-mile Los Angels zone, with “Purge 5” set for 25 filming days planned in San Diego County. A total of 58 film projects applied for tax credits during the June 17 – 21 application period. To receive the credit, production must start within 180 days.

A year ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an extension of California’s Film and Television Tax Credit program for five years beyond its 2020 expiration with $1.6 billion in credits up to 25% of production costs. The program was more than tripled in size in 2014 to $330 million annually to compete effectively with incentives in New York and Georgia. The program is overseen by the state’s film commission, which selects projects to qualify partly based on jobs created.

Feature films covered under the program have included Disney’s “Captain Marvel,” Paramount’s “Transformers” spinoff “Bumblebee” and Warner Bros. “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James and Bugs Bunny. Earlier this year, Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” became the 16th television series to relocate to California and has been allocated $24.7 million in tax credits. Other relocated series include “Good Girls,” “You,” “Sneaky Pete,” “Legion,” “Ballers” and “Veep.”


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