It’s doubtful the upcoming second Sherlock Holmes sequel will feature the line “elementary, my dear California,” but the Golden State sure helped solve the riddle of how to get the latest installment starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams financed.
With a near-record allocation of just under $20.85 million, Warner Bros’ December 2021-debuting Sherlock Holmes 3 was by far the most rewarded of the 10 films set to receive a boost from the state’s tax credits program managed by the California Film Commission.
As you can see from the chart below, this latest round of film credits has the fifth and likely final Purge offering from Blumhouse, as well as another American Pie treat among the five “non-independent” and five independent films that got a piece of the lucrative pie.
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Emphasizing job creation and spreading the wealth to keep production in the home of Hollywood, the CFC estimates that the 10 films given the incentive greenlight today will generate around $310 million in below-the-line spending to crew and vendors.
A big part of that will be the Great Detective himself.
Filming mainly outside the LA 30-mile studio zone, the Dexter Fletcher-directed Sherlock Holmes 3 is expected to splash around $106.8 million in “qualified expenditures” during production, says the now Colleen Bell-led CFC. The only movie that has funneled more money back into the state’s economy since the program was revamped five years ago has been Disney/Marvel’s blockbuster Captain Marvel. Having scored $20.76 million in credits two years ago, the Brie Larson-starrer had $118 million in that qualified spending during its production.
Scoring a trio of credited films selected to receive a total of $37.955 million from state funds makes AT&T-owned Warner Bros the big winner for this latest feature allocation cycle, which ran from June 17-21.
However, Blumhouse isn’t doing too bad either this morning. Purge 5, to be released on July 10, 2020, was the fourth highest-rewarded film on the list made public today. It is also the second Purge movie to get money from California after Purge 2 also saw millions from the tax incentive program back in 2013. That was the year before then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed a widely supported bill jacking the state’s program from a fairly non-competitive $100 million a year to $330 million, allowing films with budgets over $75 million to apply and pulling the plug on the disastrous lottery system that had determined who got what previously.
Snapping another tentpole back to the state with the latest Holmes pic, this is the first feature allocation the program has made since Gov. Gavin Newsom flexed muscle and anointed Bell, the ex-Bold & the Beautiful producer and Ambassador to Hungary, to run the commission in May. Additionally, the CFC might be feeling a little buzzed after Quentin Tarantino just had his best opening weekend ever with a $40 million domestic box office for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which the state of California showered with more than $18 million in incentives in 2017.
Who will be among the lucky Tinseltown winners on the big and the small screens next Depending on how many previously rewarded TV shows are grandfathered in to another round based on renewals, we’ll find out in mid-December which series have been rewarded tax credits after the upcoming November 4-8 application period. For movies, the next round is October 7-11. The lucky ones in that round will be made known around November 11, we hear.
Stay tuned Baker Street Irregulars.
BTW – in case you are wondering, the more than $20 million awarded Sherlock Holmes 3 is not the most tax credits or even the second most tax credits a movie has received in the 2.0 version of the incentive program. The two top spots still belong to the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee and the LeBron James-starring Space Jam 2, with $22.4 million and $21.8 million in credits, respectively.