2015 Feature Film Production Study

FilmLANews Releases, Research1 Comment

FilmL.A., the not-for-profit film office serving the Greater Los Angeles region, today announced the release of a new report prepared by its research division. The 2015 Feature Film Production Study analyzes a sample of 109 U.S. feature films released theatrically last year, identifying where they were filmed and how much was spent to produce them. The report also examines California’s top competitors and year-over-year trends in film production yield.
A total of 19 California-made film projects were released theatrically in 2015 (16 live- action films & 3 animated films) giving the state an edge over its competitors in total project count. The 19 projects that filmed in California brought an estimated $720 million in total production spending to the state, placing the state behind the United Kingdom, which had $1.63 billion in production spending.
“This report highlights both the aggressiveness of our competitors for feature film projects and the effectiveness of California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program,” observed FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. “Compared to its competitors, California is attracting big production investment with modest incentive outlays.”
Some of the report’s notable findings include:

  • The 109 films studied by FilmL.A. represent over $7 billion in direct production spending. Budgets for sampled films ranged from $1 million to over $300 million.
  • In terms of project count, California’s top competitors were the UK (15 projects), Georgia & Louisiana (12 projects) and Canada (11 projects). New York, which had ranked second in the 2014 Feature Film Production Study with 13 projects, fell out of the top five production centers in 2015 with seven projects.
  • Of the California-based live action films, 44 percent (7 out of 16 projects) were made in the state thanks to the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program.
  • The only films with budgets over $100 million that were produced in California were animated projects. None of the large budget live-action films were produced primarily in California.
  • For the first time on record, California did not host any of the top 25 live-action films at the worldwide box office in 2015.
  • Future studies should show increases for California as the state’s $330 million Film & Television Tax Credit Program reaches full utilization. The 2016 report will include at least two films produced in California using the new tax credit — The Conjuring 2 and CHiPs.

“Ten years ago, Angelenos were packing up their bags and heading out of state to take advantage of other state film and television tax credits. Today, we’ve never seen more opportunity right here at home. Nearly half of all films created in California last year were made possible because of our work to triple the state’s film tax credit. Those hard- won dollars mean that Angelenos are practicing their craft in L.A. again; they’re spending money in their own neighborhoods; they’re laying their heads down on their own pillows at the end of the day. We will continue to fight for production in Los Angeles. The industry is booming in Los Angeles, and we’re going to keep it that way.” – Mayor Eric Garcetti

FilmL.A. Research reports are available for download here.

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