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January 3, 2017

December 23rd News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

Given that this is the last compilation of articles I will present in 2016, I think it only fitting that each one reflects a topic that everyone has been talking about all year. California tax credits, Netflix, the growth of the industry in China and predictions about the Hollywood box office have all dominated headlines in 2016 and are likely to be talking points well into the New Year.

Since film and television tax incentives were instituted in California in 2015 with the intent of luring back service production lost to other jurisdictions, industry watchers across the globe have been closely monitoring their effectiveness. Although not all articles have been positive, most of them - including the one below published this week in the Los Angeles Business Journal - have concluded that the tax credits have been successful in helping return employment to the state.
http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2016/12/20/california-tax-credits-gained-momentum-in-2016.html

It was the summer of 2015 when the phrase "Peak TV" entered the lexicon to describe a state in which a glut of television shows made it difficult to find original, compelling stories. An article from the Los Angeles Times this week states that we have now reached "Peak Netflix". It posits below that, as Netflix’s profile has grown, its once-sharp identity has grown more diffuse, and declares that any attempt to define Netflix's brand is now "an exercise in frustration".
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-st-netflix-tv-brand-20161222-story.html

Earlier this fall when China's richest man, Wang Jialin, spoke to an LA-based crowd about the Wanda Company's plans to collaborate with Hollywood, his presentation included a trailer of the upcoming Matt Damon movie The Great Wall. As detailed in the LA Times below, the $150 million US-China co-production., which opened to strong box office but tepid reviews last week in China, is seen as a crucial test. If it works, it could serve as a mold for Chinese and American film companies trying to take advantage of an increasingly global entertainment business. It if flops everywhere but China, studios may need to rethink their strategy of co-producing movies.
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-great-wall-box-office-20161219-story.html

As 2016 draws to a close, there have been a slew of articles featuring industry analysts chewing over year-end box office numbers. The one below from the Times cautions that while projections of $11.3 billion in U.S. and Canada ticket sales would seem like a cause for celebration, the rosy numbers mask underlying challenges in a cinema business that is facing rapid changes in a period of digital upheaval.
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-cinema-pain-20161213-story.html

Finally this week, it seems fitting that the final article of the year in this space is one which relates continued growth and prosperity in Ontario. As detailed in the Financial Post below, the tight-knit film community in Ottawa is thriving, generating about $100 million in annual production business.
http://business.financialpost.com/financial-post-magazine/ottawa-ready-for-its-hollywood-north-close-up-as-tight-knit-film-community-thrives

I wish you all the happiest of holidays and look forward to sharing a busy and prosperous 2017. Cheers!

Kelly

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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