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Netflix led the way in the latest round of tax credits granted to productions by the state’s film office.
The streamer was awarded $37.1 million in incentives to shoot in California, besting MGM ($19.6 million) and Warner Bros. Pictures ($12.6 million), the California Film Commission said Monday. HBO led the way in the previous allotment of credits and Netflix twice before that.
Netflix was given credits for two features, Rebel Moon: Part 2 and an untitled film. The first installment of the Zack Snyder project was also awarded tax credits last year to shoot in California. The sci-fi adventure follows a young woman, played by Sofia Boutella, in a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy forced to seek out help from neighboring planets to ward off an invading tyrant.
Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie à Deux headlines the four studio films given incentives — though it was granted the least. Unlike other high-production states like Georgia, only the qualified spending portion of a movie’s budget, which doesn’t include compensation for talent, is eligible for credits under California’s tax credit program. Both Joaquin Phoenix and Phillips will rake in $20 million paydays for the $150 million budgeted sequel, with Lady Gaga getting $10 million.
“No other city has more resources than L.A. when it comes to our industry,” said Phillips in a statement. “Having spent the last several years filming in iconic locales here in the U.S. and around the globe, I’m looking forward to returning to work in the place I call home and to serving the state by bringing a project of this scope to California.”
In total, the film office reserved $93.7 million in credits for 18 movies. They’re on track to generate roughly $915 million in spending across the state, according to the commission.
California designates $330 million annually in credits to shoot in the state. That figure was bumped up by $90 million for two years to attract productions from other areas. In recent years, studio movies have fled California in favor of places with more lucrative tax incentives. Georgia, which doesn’t have a cap on its film and TV tax credit program, has been the most popular destination.
“We are thrilled to continue welcoming the kind of big-budget films that used to be so susceptible to runaway production,” said California Film Commission executive director Colleen Bell in a statement. “In addition to our incentive, we have the best talent, crews, infrastructure, locations, weather and so much more. California is ready to help filmmakers make the most of all we have to offer.”
The untitled Netflix project was awarded the most in credits ($20.5 million), with MGM’s Thomas Crown Affair close behind ($19.5 million). The latter, the third remake of the title, stars Michael B. Jordan as a billionaire thief in a cat-and-mouse game with an insurance investigator who’s also his romantic interest. It’s produced by him along with Joe and Anthony Russo through their AGBO banner.
Among independent films, Sofia Coppola’s untitled project produced by Peppermint Road was also awarded credits.
The California Film Commission received 57 applications during the feature film tax credit allocation period. The next application period for features will run from Jan. 30-Feb. 6, 2023. The next application period for TV series will be held Sept. 19-26.
The full list of recipients follows.
Joker: Folie a Deux, Warner Bros. Pictures, $12.6 million
Thomas Crown Affair, MGM, $19.6 million
Rebel Moon: Part 2, Netflix, $16.6 million
Untitled NF Project, Netflix Productions, LLC, $20.5 million
A Foot in the Grave, FITG Film LLC, $1.4 million
A Special Relationship, See-Saw Film Limited, $2.5 million
Creature, Rush Job LLC, $2.5 million
Elmhurst, XRM Media LLC, $440,000
Greenlight, Faith Media Distribution, $1.2 million
Guns and Moses, Guns and Moses LLC, $735,000
Perfect Stranger, Dangerous Game Productions, $2.5 million
Pizza Girl, Maggot productions II Inc., $1.5 million
Shell, Shell Movie LLC, $2.5 million
The Cure, The Cure Movie LLC, $763,000
The Knockout Queen, Atlas Entertainment, $2.5 million
Triage, End Cue LLC, $1.2 million
Untitled JJR Surf Movie, Ghost Three Films LLC, $2.9 million
Untitled Sofia Coppola Project, Peppermint Road Inc., $1.9 million
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