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December 22, 2015

December Update from Film Ontario, December 22, 2015

Dear FilmOntario Members,

Our AGM was a terrific success - thanks to all of you for coming out.  Our Co-Chairs Sue Milling and Jennifer Jonas gave the FilmOntario 2015 Report on the good, the not so good, and more importantly the lessons we have learned.  FilmOntario is fortunate to report some major successes again this year. None of which could happen without the support and commitment of you.

Our Guest Speaker, Minister Michael Coteau, was a big hit with his message of commitment to the stability of this important economic engine for Ontario.  The Minister took questions from the floor, and stayed to chat with members during the reception.

We will continue to work in partnership with the government, the OMDC and The City of Toronto to make sure we head into another busy and successful year with no surprises.

___________________________________________________________

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative

While the last full work week of 2016 has indeed been a quiet one, a year-end federal tax bill is still generating some excitement for American film and television stakeholders. As reported in the Hollywood Reporter below, the national tax incentive, which expired last January and allowed eligible productions to deduct the first $15 million of the cost against federal tax obligations, has been revived retroactively for all of 2014.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/us-offer-retroactive-tax-break-759585

Filmmaker Spike Lee has often generated controversy and his latest project Chi-raq is no exception. As reported in the Chicago Reader this week, Lee's fight to access the Illinois tax credit has been successful, following efforts of Chicago municipal leaders to deny his application based on the film's depictions of gun violence in that city.
http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chi-raq-spike-lee-illinois-tax-credit/Content?oid=20511450

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Star Wars opened this week amid perhaps the largest promotional and merchandising blitz a film has ever generated. Also this week, the Los Angeles Times published a really interesting article detailing why Disney's $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm raised eyebrows in 2012, but may turn out to be a bargain after all.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-et-ct-star-wars-disney-empire-20151213-story.html#nt=outfit

While Star Wars' success may be a sure bet, the performance of other films is becoming increasingly hard to predict. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below, social media has changed the way audiences react to theatrical openings and 2015 spawned hits that drastically outperformed expectations, as well as films that suffered the worst wide openings in history, despite expensive marketing.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-offices-new-normal-2015-849509

When FX CEO John Landgraff declared back in August that "There is simply too much TV," it was the catalyst for a conversation about "Peak TV" and, more ominously, a content bubble. That conversation continued this week in the Hollywood Reporter, which reported that the number of scripted programs on broadcast networks, basic and pay cable networks and OTT services now totals 409.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/peak-tv-scripted-series-surpass-849541

Finally this week, the recent deal between Netflix and Bell TV in Canada made headlines in Hollywood. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below,  the agreement that will see Bell TV offer Netflix on its set-top boxes, underlines Netflix's popularity north of the border.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/netflix-canadian-pay-tv-provider-849358

You'll find the full text for the linked articles below my signature. Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with comments or links for inclusion.
I'll be enjoying Christmas and New Year's Day, respectively, on the next two Fridays, so my next media report will return on Friday, January 8th. I wish you all a joyous holiday season and I look forward working together for a prosperous 2016.

Warmest regards,

Kelly

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