Fox Gets $17M in California Tax Credits for ‘Ford v. Ferrari’

Daily Tax Report: State provides authoritative coverage of state and local tax developments across the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, tracking legislative and regulatory updates,...

By David McAfee

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. is on track to receive almost $17 million in California tax credits for the production of a big-budget film called “Ford V. Ferrari,” the California Film Commission announced April 9.

The commission touted “Ford v. Ferrari” and “Coming 2 America,” which is set to receive almost $13 million in tax credits, as the most recent big-budget projects bringing film production back to California. Other major film projects include Fox’s “Call of the Wild” and Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” which the commission recently hailed as a success.

The California tax credit program has evolved over time, bringing larger projects back to the state, according to California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch.

“California’s expanded tax credit program was successful from day one in attracting TV projects and mid-range features, and it’s succeeding over the long term with big-budget film projects like those announced today,” Lemisch said in an April 9 statement. “While our tax credit is more modest than what’s offered by some competitors, filmmakers understand that California can still provide the best value thanks to our superior talent, infrastructure, weather and locations.”

Production of “Ford v. Ferrari” is on track to spend more than $78 million in qualified expenditures in California, and “Coming 2 America” producers are projecting to spend $64.6 million. Big-budget films like “Ford v. Ferrari” would have been ineligible for California tax credits under the first generation of the program, which barred projects with budgets of more than $75 million.

Jordan Peele Project

The commission announced California tax credits for “Ford v. Ferrari” and “Coming 2 America” alongside seven other projects, including a “Scarface” remake and an untitled film by Oscar winner Jordan Peele of Deep Cuts LLC. The nine projects are set to receive a total of $55.5 million in tax credits.

The untitled Peele film will shoot “extensively” outside the 30-mile zone in Santa Cruz, according to the commission.

“The opportunity to produce projects here in California not only creates jobs and economic activity in-state, but it allows us to use the incredible resources we have in our own backyard,” Jeff LaPlante, president of physical production for Universal Pictures, the studio behind Peele’s film, said in a statement. “California provides an extraordinary setting that is adaptable for film production, and our ability to utilize tax credits locally benefits the community and many people across the industry.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcAfee@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan C. Tuck at rtuck@bloombergtax.com

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