The number one filming location for box office hits wasn't California last year. According to a new study, it was Georgia.
The study by FilmLA, the nonprofit film office for Los Angeles, looked at the top 100 grossing movies of 2016 and found that 17 were filmed in Georgia. By comparison, California had 12.
FilmLA president Paul Audley pointed to the investment Georgia has made as the leading reason for the state’s ascendance in the film industry.
"Basically Georgia is spending the most money of anybody in Europe or the US now to attract filming,” Audley said.
The state offered $600 million to production companies last year.
Audley said the annual study confirmed tax credit programs are effective in drawing film production companies—at least, in the short term.
He said the lasting impact for states like Georgia is still to be determined. Louisiana, which topped the list in 2013, saw fewer productions after reigning in its incentives.
"The day a community stops providing these incentives, the industry looks for another place to go,” Audley said. “So then the other question for states like Georgia is: is this sustainable over the long term?"
The study also found that while more top films were made in Georgia, that didn't necessarily translate into more dollars flowing into the state.
The top films' producers spent $476.4 million in Georgia, but $851 million in California.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development wasn’t available to comment on the report.