Movies bring $178 million to Baton Rouge in 2015
BATON ROUGE - Despite lawmakers trimming Louisiana's film tax incentives, officials in Baton Rouge said the city-parish saw about the same amount of movie money as it did last year.
Mayor-President Kip Holden's office said movie productions spent more than $178 million in the Baton Rouge region for 35 film projects. That's down from $180 million in 2014.
State lawmakers put a $180 million cap on individual film tax credits during this summer's session as they sought to shore up Louisiana's massive budget deficit. Critics were concerned putting a limit on the credit would lead to companies going to other states with better tax schemes.
Holden's office said Baton Rouge was still rated the best small city to live and work in as a filmmaker by Moviemaker Magazine for 2015. The magazine called out Baton Rouge's Film Commission as one reason the city was so friendly for filmmakers, helping them keep costs down by securing partnering businesses and crew members. The city also does not charge location fees for using city-owned properties as filming locations.
The big spender for 2015 was MGM's The Magnificent Seven, which stars Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington. The production spent more than $75 million over six months and is scheduled to be released worldwide in September 2016.