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July 31, 2017

July 28th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

California announced the latest round of tax credit recipients this week and the news was once again covered with great fanfare in the local media and trades. As detailed in Variety below, three big-budget films — “Captain Marvel,” “Island Plaza,” and “Midway” — have been selected to receive collectively about $54 million of the nearly $68 million allocated to eight independent and studio projects.

Those wondering why jurisdictions continue to chase big budget business, should read Bloomberg News which this week declared, "Wonder Woman Saves the U.K. Economy". As detailed below, box-office receipts for the film and others helped drive growth in the services sector (which includes film production) in the second quarter of the year 8.2 percent, adding 0.07 percentage point to gross domestic product over the three months. Reported data shows that growth in U.K. motion picture activities has surged 72% since 2014, partly due to new tax incentives for production.

Expectations were high last October at the glittery Hollywood event hosted by Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, to promote the company's studio in the coastal city of Qingdao, China. But since then the Chinese government has placed restrictions on moving capital out of China and moved to rein in foreign investment by several of the country's largest private companies. In one of the most striking setbacks to date in Jianlin's quest to become a global media mogul, the LA Times reports this week that Wanda will sell off majority interest in the massive Qingdao moviemaking metropolis.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned investors this week that the company's upcoming foray into video content will mean increased expenditures. As detailed in Variety below, Zuckerberg says "the economics are quite different from the current feed-based businesses that we have today,” which leads business insiders to predict a move into video will transform how the company does business.

Finally this week, like many people, I regularly use the web site Rotten Tomatoes to determine where my movie-going dollars are best spent. The LA Times this week published an extensive and engaging feature on how Rotten Tomatoes has become an increasingly influential — and feared -- player in the film and television industry, whose scores can help determine whether movies sink or swim.

Warmest regards,

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

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