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Film Industry Spending Dips Slightly, State Reports

The film industry contributed $250 million in direct spending to the North Carolina economy this year, a dip from last year, according to a new estimate from the North Carolina Film Office.

The 2013 estimate would be about one-sixth less than the state’s more than $300 million record haul from the film industry last year. The director of the North Carolina Film Office points to a primary reason for the dip: Iron Man 3, the biggest blockbuster the state’s ever had, filmed last year.

Without a production of commensurate size, North Carolina continued to attract steadier revenue from television series, including CBS’s Under the Dome and FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, a quirky detective/horror show about Ichabod Crane traveling in time to the present day to fight the headless horseman and prevent the end of the world.

In the Charlotte region, Homeland and Banshee continued filming, as well.

All those productions came here after the state increased its film incentives three years ago, to refund 25 percent of what a project spends here. Industry backers credit those incentives with pouring  more than a billion dollars into the economy in the last five years, while critics point out the projects earn back more than they pay in taxes. The incentives are set to expire next year, and it is not clear if they will be extended.