Canada top production destination for highest-grossing films

An annual study from FilmL.A., which analyzes the top 100 hits at the U.S. box office, found Canada hosted more film shoots and VFX than any other jurisdiction in the world.

Canada served as the primary production location for more top-grossing feature films than any other jurisdiction in the world last year, according to an annual study from FilmL.A.

The report indicated that 20 of the 100 top-grossing films at the U.S. box office shot in Canada (compared with 13 the prior year). B.C. led, with 11 films shooting in the province (including Fifty Shades Darker, Saban’s Power Rangers and The Emoji Movie), followed by Ontario (seven), Quebec (one) and Manitoba (one). Among the films primarily produced in Ontario were Molly’s GameIt and The Nut Job 2, while Quebec hosted Leap! and Manitoba A Dog’s Purpose.

While many films shoot across multiple jurisdictions, the report focuses on the place where the majority of the production spending takes place. Of the 100 films included in this year’s report, 86 were live-action projects while the remaining 14 were animated.

In hosting one in five of the top-grossing films, Canada overtook last year’s top jurisdiction, Georgia. In 2017, the U.S. state tied the U.K. in hosting 15 top-grossing films. The list was rounded out by California (10), New York (six), Louisiana (five), Australia (five) and France (three).

This marks the first time Canada has emerged as the top jurisdiction in FilmL.A.’s report since 2013, when it tied with California in hosting primary production on 16 features.

In terms of the total budgets spent in each jurisdiction by these 100 films, the U.K. topped the list by a landslide. It hosted $1.68 billion of production, followed by Georgia ($1.09 billion), Canada ($855 million), California ($617 million), Louisiana ($293 million) and New York ($230 million). (All numbers in USD).

The report also cited the continuation of a trend that has seen a number of big-budget projects leave the U.S. for foreign jurisdictions in recent years. Across all its jurisdictions, the U.S. served as the primary production location for 50% of the top 100 films at the U.S. box office in 2017, falling from 57% in 2016 and 65% the year before. This is the lowest proportion for the U.S. since FilmL.A. began conducting the report.

In terms of VFX, the report indicated Canada retained its standing as the destination of choice, albeit by a tighter margin than last year.  The report indicated that in 2017 Canada was the primary VFX location for 16 of the top-grossing films, followed closely by the U.K. (15) and then California (six). In 2016, Canada was the primary VFX location on 17 of the top films, ahead of the U.K. (nine) and California (five).

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