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Film and television production worth $1.29bn to Ontario

Maps to the stars filmed largely in Toronto A revenue increase related to the media industry in Ontario is mainly due to an upsurge in foreign television production, a new report reveals.

The Ontario Media Development Corporation has released their 2014 statistics showing an increase in activity from the province’s film and television production industry over a 12 month period.

Film and television production contributed $1.29bn to the provincial economy in 2014 – the fourth consecutive year in which the industry garnered over $1bn for the Ontario economy. The bulk of this (some 80%) comes from the television scene, where series – mostly foreign – with long shoot dates spend a lot of money in the area.

International series to have shot in the region include Reign; Beauty and the Beast; Universal Cable Productions’ Covert Affairs and Suits; and Guillermo del Toro’s Zombie thriller The Strain for The FX Network.

The report’s authors say the film and television industry has created around 28,000 full time direct and spin-off jobs.

Domestic TV production is still a primary driver of these results, contributing $684.4m, some $40m more than in 2013. With non-scripted television on the rise, the budgets saw a decrease though of roughly 25%.

While more domestic films were being produced, the number of foreign features remained the same compared to last year. However, the latter’s average budgets did go up by more than 40%, mainly due to two large Hollywood productions: Adam Sandler’s Pixels from Sony Pictures, and Legendary Pictures’ Crimson Peak for Universal, directed by Del Toro.

Foreign producers also flocked to Ontario for their animation and post production needs, with many productions shot outside Ontario choosing to bring their post and VFX work to the province.

The Ontario Media Development Corporation also states the production activity in 2015 is already off to one of the best first quarters on record in the province. As of early February, around 19 productions were shooting or in prep. One of these productions is the Suicide Squad movie with the working title Bravo 14 from Warner Bros. which has a stellar cast including Jared Leto, Will Smith and Margot Robbie and will be directed by David Ayer.