UPDATE from Ontario Film Office Los Angeles Rep – July 20, 2018

Summer’s most compelling Hollywood drama will apparently end in anticlimax, rather than a grand battle. The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that Comcast (the parent company of NBC) has deferred to Disney in the fight for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets. Comcast will drop out of the bidding war to instead focus on its bid for European pay-TV giant Sky.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-comcast-fox-20180719-story.html

 

A handful of people during the previous weeks have asked whether I have heard any concerns regarding potential plans by President Trump to impose tariffs that will deter US-based productions from shooting in Canada. I have not, and I currently fail to see how such tariffs could be feasibly enforced. I’m not an expert in this area by any means, so if anyone has information or an opinion to the contrary, I am all ears.

 

In the meantime, there is a very real concern that tarffs the U.S. recently slapped on $250 billion of Chinese imports could result in retaliatory tariffs on US studio films planning to distribute in a country which is poised to become the world’s largest box office. As reported by Bloomberg News below, although the pull of Hollywood blockbusters has waned for Chinese audiences the past few years, they still accounted for almost 38 percent of total box office sales in China in the first half of this year and studios are increasingly nervous they could become collateral damage in President Trump’s trade war.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-19/hollywood-braces-for-collateral-damage-from-trade-war-with-china

 

On-location shooting in Los Angeles County dipped by 5.2% in the second quarter of 2018, according to stats released this week by film permitting and advocacy group FilmLA. As detailed in Deadline below, despite the numbers, FilmLA says California’s film and television tax incentives are working.

https://deadline.com/2018/07/on-location-filming-los-angeles-down-5-percent-second-quarter-filmla-1202428805/

 

Stock market watchers have long marveled at Netflix’s ability to defy market fundamentals and the mystique continued this week as its stock price swiftly recovered from an initial downturn brought on by a Q2 report showing it gained a dramatically lower number of subscribers than forecast. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below, this week was just one of the many times Netflix has proven its resilience and left naysayers scratching their heads.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/netflix-stock-does-mend-quickly-1128281

 

The province of Alberta rolled out a new interactive digital media tax credit this week. As detailed in the Toronto Star below, the credit will refund digital media companies 25 per cent of whatever they pay to Alberta-based employees in salary, wages and bonuses and also cover five per cent of payroll costs for under-represented workers, including women, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities.

https://www.thestar.com/calgary/2018/07/13/alberta-digital-media-tax-credit-rolling-out-in-september.html

 

Finally this week, the fact that screen-based industries are embarking on a major push to diversify the talent they employ behind and in front of the camera has created an incredible opportunity for a jurisdiction like Ontario, which was celebrating diversity long before it became a buzz word. As detailed by the CBC below, Canada is on the forefront of a new trend that’s changing the face of the period drama by featuring diverse characters in historically accurate storylines.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/diversity-historical-drama-tv-series-1.4743121