It’s no secret that the television and film industry has a significant impact on the Los Angeles economy. Fortunately, it appears as if tax incentive programs are working in terms of bringing and keeping filming in the area, while moviegoers are also parting with more money to purchase tickets this year than last year.
Movie Tickets on the Rise
The National Association of Theatre Owners has reported that movie ticket prices reached record levels during the first quarter of 2016, which came as a surprise to those who expected to experience a slow first quarter. In fact, the price of a ticket increased by 5.7 percent to $8.58 when compared to the same time last year. Overall, the industry saw $2.784 billion in North American ticket sales during the first quarter, representing a 12.5 percent increase when compared to the same time period last year.
The increase in movie ticket prices was led largely by “Deadpool,” which was the second-highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time behind “The Passion of the Christ.” While the film didn’t benefit from the upcharge associated with 3-D releases, it mostly drew in a higher-paying adult crowd. Meanwhile, the 3-D movies of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Zootopia” and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” also had a major impact on the increase in movie ticket prices, while “The Revenant” rounded out the top five highest-grossing movies for the first quarter.
Television and Movie Production Increases in the L.A. Area
Just as movie ticket prices were increasing during the first quarter of 2016, so were the number of on-location film and television shoots. Overall, the Los Angeles area experienced double-digit gains in both areas with an 11.4 percent increase. According to FilmL.A., which is a not-for-profit film office for the city and county of Los Angeles, there was a total of 9,703 shoot days in the Los Angeles area from January through March. This is particularly good news when considering the fact that the industry experienced a 3.1 percent drop during the same time period last year.
Feature-film production experienced the biggest increase during the first quarter, with an increase of 23.7 percent to 1,145 shoot days, four of which were supported by the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program. Meanwhile, TV production experienced a 19.1 percent increase to 3,944 shoot days, which was largely led by comedy production accounting for an 83.2 percent surge in comedy production. About half of these came from incentive-backed shows. Commercial production was also up 6.1 percent to 1,523 shoot days. All of these figures seem to indicate that the Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 has been effective in attracting and retaining all types of productions, particularly those TV projects that help to create steady, long-term employment opportunities for cast and crew.
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(all data current as of 5/29/2017)
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