The number of so-called runaway productions from the US to Canada is decreasing, according to a report by the Center for Entertainment Industry Data and Research (CEIDR).

The 2001 Production Report, which focuses on "theatrical-length motion pictures released in US theatres", indicates that of 158 films in its 2001 study, 39 films or 25% were shot in Canada in comparison with the 37 of 145 films, or 26%, shot in 2000.

The report suggests this dip is not a trend but an aberration created by the accelerated production pace in the US in 2000 caused by the threat of strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild. As well, the report claims that the number of films in the $10m-$50m budget range shooting in Canada in 2001 had increased from 2000. The significance of this finding was not made clear.

Indeed, the report leaves a number of questions unanswered. It says that the 39 films that shot in Canada had combined budgets of $1.05bn but not how much of that was spent in Canada. According to 2000-2001 figures issued by the Canadian Film and Television Producers Association (CFTPA), total foreign theatrical location shooting expenditure in Canada, was $560m.

Speaking at a debate on the subject earlier this week, Elizabeth McDonald, president of the CFTPA, said, "Even when some or all of a US film is shot in locations in Canada or Australia, most of the dollars remain in the U.S. When a film is shot in Canada, all we export is some production services. The value of these services vary but they are trivial compared to the revenues generated by the US television and film industry."