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'Iron Man 3' among films giving North Carolina a boost

December 21, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from the Lionsgate movie "The Hunger Games," which filmed in North Carolina.
Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from the Lionsgate… (Murray Close )

'Iron Man 3' gave North Carolina's film industry a big lift in 2012.

The upcoming release from Walt Disney Co.'s Marvel Studios filmed throughout North Carolina, helping to   produce a record level of production activity in the state this year.

The third installment of "Iron Man" was among about 50 productions that collectively spent $376 million in North Carolina in 2012, eclipsing last year's record of up from 43 productions and total spending of $241 million. All told, the 2012 projects created more than 4,100 crew jobs, the North Carolina Film Office said in a statement.

"The film industry is thriving once again in our state and we must continue to build on these record-breaking numbers, creating even more opportunities for jobs and economic development," Gov. Bev Perdue said.

Other movies that shot in North Carolina this year included "Safe Haven," "The Occult," and "We're the Millers." The state, which also hosted this year's hit film "The Hunger Games," is home to the award-winning television drama "Homeland" and served as a backdrop for the hit NBC series "Revolution" and the upcoming series "Banshee" for Cinemax.

North Carolina's entertainment industry has taken off in the last two years after expanding its film tax credit. Under the program, productions receive a 25% refundable tax credit based on their in-state spending on goods, services and labor.

Unlike California's program, North Carolina does not have a cap on how much it allocates each year. The state awarded about $30 million in tax credit funds in 2011.

North Carolina has a long filmmaking tradition, serving as a location for such movies as “Blue Velvet” and “Bull Durham.”  But the state lost its competitive edge when Canadian provinces and other states, among them Georgia and Louisiana, began grabbing larger shares of the business by offering generous film tax credits. Now the state’s film business is rebounding because of the popularity of its tax credit.

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