- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
California’s Film & TV tax credit program has attracted 30 new movies — 11 studio films and 19 indies — to shoot in the state, including big spenders like Jerry Seinfeld’s comedy Unfrosted, Brad Peyton’s sci-fi adventure Atlas starring Jennifer Lopez, Jerry Bruckheimer’s Beverly Hills Cop 4 and an untitled Amazon Studios project.
The four movies are set to generate $439.2 million in qualified spending in California (defined as below-the-line wages to California workers and payments to in-state vendors) with estimated tax credits of $66.8 million.
The California Film Commission says the expansion to the Film & TV tax credit program is already bringing big-budget films, which have been susceptible to runaway production in recent years, back to the state.
“There is intense competition to host big-budget films, and California has responded by enhancing our tax credit program without resorting to the types of wholesale giveaways you see in other jurisdictions,” California Film Commission executive director Colleen Bell tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The industry has responded very favorably, and the lineup of tax credit projects announced today affirms that. Big-budget films bring significant spending and high wage jobs to Californians. Launching Program 3.0 sent a strong message to the industry that we are committed to investing in our lead to keep production here.”
In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill (SB144) that gives the film and TV industry an additional $330 million in tax credits on top of the $330 million the state already doles out to Hollywood as part of its current incentives program. Another bill expected to be signed by Newsom (SB485) will extend the credits through 2030.
Other studio projects that will receive tax credits include Training Day: Day of the Riot, a prequel to the 2001 crime drama Training Day from WB Studio Enterprises, and Family Leave, a Netflix comedy starring Jennifer Garner.
Among the 19 independent features selected to participate are 80 For Brady, a road-trip comedy produced by and starring Tom Brady, with an estimated credit of $2.5 million, and Verona Spies, from The Wedding Singer director Frank Coraci, with an estimated credit of $1 million.
Other small, indie projects were eligible and applied in the latest round of movies to participate in the tax credit program, according to the California Film Commission.
“The overall consensus is that applicants want to film here in California and will choose to do so if they can level the playing field, even if other jurisdictions offer more sweeping tax credits,” Bell says. “It’s as simple as that.”
Thirteen of the 19 indie projects have budgets of $10 million or less in qualified spending. Six will receive less than $1 million in tax credits.
A total of $149.2 million has been reserved for the 30 projects on $774 million in qualified spending, according to the California Film Commission. They will employ an estimated 4,564 crew, 1,212 cast and 48,646 background actors/stand-ins on 1,095 filming days in California.
“There is a high concentration of cast and crewmembers that call California home, and they want to work here to be close to their families as well as to work with the best crews, infrastructure and equipment available,” Bell says. “The depth of our crews provides options for productions and minimizes delays, as does our unparalleled availability of equipment and soundstage/studio space.”
As the state’s film office aims to spread production across California, 327 days are set to shoot outside the Los Angeles 30-mile studio zone. The figure represents the highest number of out-of-zone filming days for any rounds of projects in the history of California’s tax credit program and continues the long-term trend of bringing more production activity statewide.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day