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Hollywood’s Super-Snub: Comic Book Movies Now Shoot Mainly Elsewhere

Since other locales began offering incentives, California has lost its grip on men-in-tights movies

When it comes to filming locations, Hollywood has become kryptonite for the biggest superhero movies.

Projects based on comic books are increasingly forsaking the Los Angeles area for filming, and are taking advantage of financial incentives offered by other locales, according to a recent survey by non-profit location permitting agency FilmL.A.

Fifteen of the 40 top-grossing movies that were inspired by comic books were shot near Hollywood, the survey finds. But just half of those were shot since 2003, when other states like New Mexico and Louisiana began offering financial incentives. That major projects have been exiting California for more financial friendly locales isn't news, but the survey details how extensive the shift has become.

Also read: 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Moving Production From Vancouver to Louisiana (Exclusive)

The two films that made the list this year – Disney’s “Iron Man 3” and “Man of Steel” — both were shot outside of California. “Iron Man 3” was filmed in North Carolina, Miami and China, while Warner Bros.’ Superman reboot was shot in Vancouver, Canada, with Chicago and L.A. as secondary sites.

Sony’s “Spider-Man” and Warner Bros.’ “Batman” stand as local heroes in Hollywood when it comes to filming sites. All four of the Spidey movies have been shot primarily in Los Angeles, and four of the seven Caped Crusader movies have filmed near Hollywood.

The study pointed out that because comic book movies are often big-budget tentpole films, the loss of such a project can put a significant hit on an area’s finances.

Also read: Why Hollywood's Biggest Films Are Leaving L.A. for London

It cited the $200 million 2011 movie “Green Lantern,” which was shot in Louisiana, with visual effects work performed in Vancouver and other international locations.

According to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., had it filmed in Los Angeles, a movie the scale of “Green Lantern” would employ over 2,400 Californians, have an economic impact exceeding $470 million and generate more than $27 million in state and local taxes.

Here are the specifics from FilmL.A.:

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