Tax Credit To Bring "The Mandalorian & Grogu," $166 Million In Economic Benefits To California
Colleen Bell, executive director of the California Film Commission
A total of 15 films are projected to generate close to $408 million worth of qualified in-state expenditures
  • HOLLYWOOD, Calif.
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The California Film Commission (CFC) is reporting a significant boost to California’s entertainment industry economy with the addition of five big-budget projects and 10 independent films into the Film and Television Tax Credit Program. These 15 productions, spanning a diverse range of budgets and narratives, are projected to bring close to $408 million into California’s economy through qualified in-state expenditures. With an estimated 2,252 crew, 598 cast, and 16,800 background performers poised to work across a combined 579 filming days, these projects will provide a substantial boost to local employment and economic activity.

“These productions, spanning big-budget features to indie films, not only infuse millions into our economy but also showcase our state’s talent and versatility,” said CFC executive director Colleen Bell. “We’re proud to welcome these projects, highlighting California’s resilience and continued prominence in the film industry.” 

Lucasfilm’s “The Mandalorian & Grogu,” directed by Jon Favreau, will have the largest total qualified expenditures in the history of the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program, marking a big win for California production and a high point for job creation. This “Star Wars” feature, a first for the franchise to be shot entirely in California, is set to inject an estimated $166 million into the state’s economy through below-the-line wages and qualified expenditures. As with all of the CFC’s film and television tax credit projects, overall spending for the project will be significantly greater than its qualified spending with the inclusion of above-the-line wages and other expenditures that do not qualify for incentives under California’s very targeted tax credit program.

Other notable, non-independent recipients include two untitled films (one from Disney, the other from 20th), and two Amazon MGM Studios projects “The Accountant 2” and “Mercy.”

“We are thrilled to be able to shoot in Los Angeles thanks to the tax credit,” said Academy Award nominated producer Charles Roven, who’s set to produce the sci-fi film Mercy starring Chris Pratt. “We get to work with terrific talent that lives here and utilize the wonderful locations. And almost everyone gets to go home to their own bed at the end of day!” 

Furthermore, the 10 independent films are poised to generate a total of $114 million in qualified spending, with $70 million attributed to qualified wages. Among these, the seven indies with budgets under $10 million are projected to contribute a combined $22 million in qualified spending. Meanwhile, independent films with budgets exceeding $10 million, including New Regency’s “Untitled NRP Project,” are expected to surpass $92 million in qualified spending, reflecting the robust economic impact of these productions.

“California offers iconic locations as well as exceptionally talented and diverse crew, with which it will be a privilege to work,” said Chris Hubbard, VP of physical production at New Regency. “We are beyond thrilled to receive the California Film Tax Credit. A big thank you to the California Film Commission for their continued efforts to support production in the state.”

Noteworthy is the significant portion of filming planned outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Studio Zone, showcasing California’s diverse landscapes and expanding production opportunities across the state. Nearly 41 percent--235 out of 569--of the filming days planned by the announced projects will take place in Alameda County, Joshua Tree, Marin, Orange County, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Upland, as well as other out-of-zone locations yet to be determined.

Since the resolution of the labor strikes last November, over 60 productions in the Tax Credit Program have either resumed filming or are slated to do so in the first half of 2024, infusing a welcome surge of local jobs and spending. The addition of these 15 feature films choosing California as their filming destination will increase job opportunities and stimulate substantial local investment at a critical time in the industry. Furthermore, the ripple effects will extend beyond principal photography, generating revenue and additional job opportunities for California’s postproduction sector, including visual effects artists, sound editors, and other essential workers. 

A total of 59 projects applied during the January 22-24 application period in Fiscal Year 4 of the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program 3.0. As a result, the California Film Commission has earmarked just over $61 million in tax credit allocation for the 15 conditionally approved projects. It’s important to note that the list of approved projects is subject to change, as applicants may withdraw from the program, leading to the reassignment of tax credits to projects on the waiting list.

The final application period for this fiscal year will focus on television projects, with roughly $200 million earmarked. Submissions will be accepted from February 26-28 for Recurring and Relocating Television Series, and from March 4-6 for New Television Series. As for feature films, about $80 million is available for both independent and non-independent projects with the next application window slated for August 2024.

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