Robert Downey Jr’s ‘Sherlock Holmes 3’ to Receive $20.8 Million California Tax Credit

Other films granted tax credits are Will Smith’s “King Richard” and “Purge 5”

Daniel Smith | Warner Bros.

As part of California’s expanded Film & TV Tax Credit Program, Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes 3” is among the films granted a tax credit for filming in California, with the third in the Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law franchise to receive a $20.8 million break.

On Monday, the California Film Commission announced 10 feature films that have been approved conditionally for tax credits under the state’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0. Other film on the list include “King Richard” starring Will Smith, a “Little Shop of Horrors” remake and “Purge 5.”

The films that have received tax credits to shoot in the Golden State are expected to collectively bring in more than $310 million, the state’s Film Commission said Monday, with “Sherlock Holmes 3” alone generating roughly $106.8 million in qualified expenditures — defined as below-the-line wages and payments to in-state vendors. That would make it the second highest project spending to date, just behind the $118 million in qualified expenditures for “Captain Marvel.”

“California is once again competing for big-budget film projects because it’s becoming clear that chasing the highest tax credit doesn’t always provide the best value,” California Film Commission executive director Colleen Bell said in a statement. “In addition to our tax credit program, we have so many resources that other locales simply can’t match.”

The commission said that a significant portion of the production activity and spending for the 10 projects will occur outside the Los Angeles 30-mile studio zone. Eight of the 10 projects will shoot out-of-zone, spending 89 filming days in regions across the state.

Based on information provided to the commission with each tax credit application, the 10 projects are expected to employ an estimated 1,561 crew, 469 cast and 31,550 background actors and stand-ins over a combined 453 filming days in California. In addition, the projects will generate significant post-production jobs and revenue for VFX artists, sound editors, sound mixers, musicians and other workers and vendors.

“A key goal for Program 2.0 is to bring the economic benefits of film and TV production to regions across the state, and that’s a goal we’re achieving on a consistent basis,” Bell said. “It’s great to see so many tax credit projects bring jobs and spending to regions beyond the Los Angeles 30-mile studio zone.”

In 2014, California Gov. Jerry Brown approved revisions to the film commission’s tax credit program in response to an exodus of higher budget films to other states like Georgia. The new system allows projects previously barred from credit by the old program to be eligible, including TV pilots, hour-long TV series, and most notably, feature films with budgets of more than $75 million.

“It is fantastic to see the economic impact our entertainment industry has on this state being shared across several regions of California,” Lenny Mendonca, the Governor’s chief economic and business advisor and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, said in a statement. “I hope other industries will also take notice of our diverse regions and the opportunities they hold.”

The California Film Commission’s revised tax credit program has led major Hollywood studios to return to California for some of their projects. The news of California’s latest tax credit beneficiaries comes has some studios and Hollywood filmmakers have vowed to back out or otherwise closely watch states with popular tax programs — such as Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama — that have passed some form of anti-abortion laws.

The next application period for feature film tax credits will be held Oct. 7-11, 2019.

For the record: Due to a typo in a news release, a previous version of this story spelled Lenny Mendonca’s name incorrectly.