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TORONTO – First Hollywood brought its movies and TV shows to Canada for location shoots.
Now the major studios have created a tourism boom.
The Motion Picture Association – Canada, which represents the interests of the Hollywood studios north of the border, has released a study on the “major economic benefits” of its Canadian presence that points to fan pilgrimages to local locations for popular releases like The Twilight saga and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
“During filming and following the release of each of the movies in the (Twilight) series, fans of the films flocked to Vancouver in the hopes of catching a glimpse of one of the film series’ stars when they were on location, or simply to be able to see and take pictures in the actual settings where the movies were filmed,” the report says of the Twilight franchise, where Vancouver doubled as Forks, Wash., just across the Canadian-U.S. border.
The MPA report added that, while most of the Twilight tourists hoping to see stars like Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were Americans, they also hailed from as far afield as Australia and Europe.
Fans also came during the production of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in Toronto and after its box-office run created buzz at the multiplex.
“A former tour operator noted that the film developed a devoted fandom in addition to existing fans of the original graphic novel, and many fans (primarily from the U.S. and other parts of Canada) travel to Toronto in order to visit the locations in the film,” the MPA report noted.
Production-related tourism also surrounded Vancouver TV shoots for U.S. series like Smallville and Supernatural, the report added.
The major studios urged Canadians to do more to follow the film-induced tourism success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy in New Zealand and the Harry Potter series in the U.K.
The report also was commissioned by the Canadian Media Production Association, which represents local indie producers.
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