The Economic Impact of Chicago’s Filming Frenzy

More movies mean more money. (TV and ads pay pretty well, too.) Here’s how much cash all the cameras are bringing in.

Chicago PD star Sophia Bush   Photo: Elizabeth Morris/NBC
Chicago filming earnings

Shootings are up! But in a good way.

Last year was the best yet for filming in Illinois, with three major movies (including Transformers 4 and Jupiter Ascending, the new Wachowski flick) and six TV shows—not to mention 137 commercials—made here.

Credit the state legislature, which in 2008 upped the tax credit (to 30 percent) for studios that film in the state. According to the Illinois Film Office, the annual direct economic impact on the state has more than tripled since 2009 (see chart).

And with TV hits Chicago Fire and Chicago PD continuing their local filming, says Betsy Steinberg of the Illinois Film Office, 2014 could be just as huge.

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