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FilmL.A. Issues Fifth Annual Feature Film Study


FilmL.A. Issues Fifth Annual Feature Film Study

Large List of International Competitors Highlights Global Nature of Film Production

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, FilmL.A. released a new report prepared by its research division. The 2017 Feature Film Study analyzes the 100 highest-performing U.S. feature films released theatrically last year, identifying where these films were made and how much was spent to produce them. The report also examines five-year trends in feature production including physical production, postproduction and animation.

FilmL.A. Issues Fifth Annual Feature Film Study
Large List of International Competitors Highlights Global Nature of Film Production

Total production spending for 2017's top 100 films at the North American box office surpassed $7.55 billion.  Reported budgets for the surveyed films ranged from $4.5 million to over $300 million, supporting tens of thousands of direct jobs and countless indirect positions in related industries globally.

Among non-U.S. jurisdictions, the top production center in the 2017 study was Canada, which hosted a record 20 films, followed by the United Kingdom (U.K.) with 15 projects. Within Canada, the top provinces were British Columbia (11 films), Ontario (7), Quebec (1) and Manitoba (1).  Within the U.S., top production centers included Georgia with 15 projects, California with ten films, and New York with six.

In addition to the world's top production centers, production work for sampled projects took place in more than a dozen U.S. states, and 20 nations spread across the continents of Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.  Antarctica stands as the only region of the world untouched by a top movie released in 2017.

The report also found that postproduction can easily capture 50 percent of a film's credited jobs, should the production budget exceed $100 million.  This is significant, as major production centers like Canada have invested heavily in the attraction of postproduction work, including visual effects, with dedicated incentives and infrastructure.         

VFX work is also performed globally, with significant international presence in Canada and the U.K., plus the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and France. 

Animated films also had significant success at the box office in 2017, and a total of 14 animated films were included in FilmL.A.'s study. The U.S. produced five of the animated films in the study, with California leading the nation with four films.  Meanwhile, international competitors continued to make headway.  Canada, led by the Province of British Columbia, eclipsed the U.S. in 2017 by hosting six animated films. 

"In an age when film production is an established global enterprise, California remains a top international competitor," observed FilmL.A. President Paul Audley. "This report reinforces a fact that is increasingly well understood -- that a skilled local workforce, robust infrastructure support, and a competitive film incentive are prerequisite for film project attraction at scale."

Some of the study's other findings include:

  • The United States hosted 50 of the 100 sampled films in the 2017 study.
  • The U.K., with $822 million invested, offers the largest film incentive program worldwide. In North America, the largest film incentive program belongs to Georgia with $800 million invested.
  • California was the primary location for music scoring on 37 of the 100 films in this year's study, a slight improvement over 2016 when 35 films were scored in the state.
  • Looking forward, several big-budget movies filmed in California in 2017/18 will likely register in future reports including Bumblebee, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Captain Marvel and Top Gun 2.

The 2017 Feature Film Study, along with other reports from FilmL.A. Research, are available for download here (registration required):

About FilmL.A.

FilmL.A. is a private, not-for-profit community benefit organization and the official film office of the City and County of Los Angeles, among an ever-increasing roster of local municipalities. Providing streamlined permit processing, comprehensive community relations, marketing services, film policy analysis and more to these jurisdictions, FilmL.A. works to attract and retain film production in Greater Los Angeles. Learn more about FilmL.A. at



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