Sony Pictures' 'Smurfs 2,' 'Houdini' and 'Singularity' to Shoot in Montreal

July 29: "The Smurfs"
Sony Pictures

This 3D live-action/CGI family film will finally release July 29 after having its release date changed three times. While being chased by evil wizard Gargamel, the Smurfs are chased into a portal, which transports them to Central Park. Neil Patrick Harris stars alongside the voices of Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, George Lopez, B.J. Novak, John Oliver and Paul Reubens.

The Hollywood studio is bringing three CGI-heavy movies to Quebec for production one after the other to take advantage of generous tax breaks and digital media incentives.

TORONTO - Studio movie shoots in Canada these days increasingly come in bunches for added production savings.

Roland Emmerich may have delayed production on his sci-fi epic Singularity in Montreal, but that hasn’t stopped Sony Pictures piling into Quebec with yet more big-budget movie shoots.

The studio is now likely to shoot the $175 million Singularity picture in fall 2012, ahead of a May 2013 release, after Steven Spielberg wraps production on Robopocalypse at the Cite’ du Cinema studio in summer 2012.

Now there’s word Sony Pictures is to shoot the upcoming sequel to The Smurfs and its Houdini project in Montreal as it takes advantage of Quebec’s generous all-spend tax credit and additional digital media tax incentives for live action/CG hybrids.

The studio is near to starting pre-production on The Smurfs 2, which has an August 2, 2013 release, and Jordan Kerner returning as producer.

And Sony Pictures is also sending to Montreal director Francis Lawrence’s high profile film about Houdini, the famed escape artist and magician.

The studio is only the latest Los Angeles producer to secure economies of scale by shooting movies one after the other in Canada, often with the same local production crews and facilties.

Relativity Media had Tarsem Singh shoot the CGI-heavy epic Immortals inside the Cite’ du Cinema studio in Montreal, followed by production of next year’s Julia Roberts-starring Snow White movie Mirror, Mirror, also in Montreal.

And Universal Pictures similarly chose Montreal to shoot Mummy 3 and Death Race one after the other back in 2007.