Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Destinations That Benefited Most from Film Tourism: How Does Croatia Rank?

March 1st, 2022 - Croatia continues to rank high on lists of notable filming locations, mostly owing to its Game of Thrones fame

Interest in Croatia as a filming location has only been increasing as of late: the country hosted over 20 international productions in the first half of 2021 alone. Several hits filmed in Croatia such as The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and Bliss were released last year, and the Netflix thriller The Weekend Away, largely filmed in Split, is set to premiere this week.

It’s no secret that Croatia has benefited considerably from film-induced tourism, mostly owing to its Game of Thrones fame. As reported by Morski.hr, Croatia ranks third on the list of eight destinations that generated substantial income from tourism, compiled by Unforgettable Croatia.

London tops the list, as the eight Harry Potter films drove so much tourist traffic, it generated a mind-boggling income of $5,3 billion in total. New Zealand follows with $1,3 billion generated by film tourism, brought in by the cult classics The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Croatia ranks third thanks to Dubrovnik and its Game of Thrones fame - no surprises there. Fans of the massively popular TV series were flocking to Dubrovnik in droves soon after the walled city made its debut on screen as King’s Landing, resulting in a total of $203 million generated from Game of Thrones-induced tourism between 2013 and 2018.

Here’s how Croatia ranks compared to other destinations that benefited the most from film tourism (in USD):

1. London, England / Harry Potter – 5,3 billion
2. Waikato, New Zealand / The Hobbit & LOTR – 1,6 billion
3. Dubrovnik, Croatia / Game of Thrones – 203 million
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA / Breaking Bad – 70 million
5. Stirling, Scotland / Braveheart – 47 million
6. Forks, Washington, USA / Twilight – 46,2 million
7. Kho Phi Phi Leh, Thailand / The Beach – 13 million
8. Skellig Michael, Ireland / Star Wars – 4,5 million


Check out our list of filming locations in Croatia beyond Game of Thrones

Monday, 14 February 2022

Stunning Croatian Film Locations Beyond Game of Thrones

14 February 2022 - With its breathtaking architecture and a variety of natural wonders, ranging from the turquoise waters of the coast to lush natural parks, it is no surprise that Croatia is one of the most popular film settings in the global entertainment scene. A look at Croatian film locations around the country. 

Naturally, we simply cannot discuss filming sites in Croatia without bringing up Game of Thrones. For almost a decade, the series captivated international audiences with its depiction of dragons, kingdom politics, and white walkers, with later seasons drawing almost 32.8 million viewers per episode worldwide.

Yet beyond Cersei Lannister’s walk of atonement down the Jesuit Stairs or the Tyrells counseling Sansa Stark in the Trsteno Arboretum, lie other stunning locations that you may not have known were filmed in Croatia.


Trsteno Arboretum. Dubrovnik Tourism Board/Facebook

This Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for inspiration for your next vacation, we highlight 7 additional international movies and television series set in Croatia to add to your list of “must-sees”.

1. The Weekend Away (2022)

Starting with the upcoming Netflix thriller set to premiere March 3rd, The Weekend Away, starring Leighton Meester of “Gossip Girl” fame.


Diocletian's Palace, Split. Netflix/Screenshot

The trailer heavily features scenes in Split’s Diocletian's Palace, showcasing the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was built with local limestone and marble from nearby island Brač for Roman emperor Diocletian in the fourth century AD.


Downtown, Split. Netflix/Screenshot

Several scenes were also filmed in downtown Split and along Firule beach.

The film is adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Sarah Alderson. It follows Beth and Kate, best friends who plan a weekend getaway to Croatia. In a twist of fate, Kate ends up dead while Beth becomes the prime suspect. Whilst Beth fights to prove her innocence, painful secrets are uncovered along the way.

2. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

As a sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), bodyguard Michael Bryce and hitman Darius Kincaid team up again for another life-threatening mission in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.


Backdrop, city of Rovinj. Lionsgate/Screenshot

The charming town of Rovinj, on the Istrian Coast of Croatia, doubled for various Italian settings along the Amalfi Coast.

There was also an impressively planned stunt scene staged where a van, pursued by an SUV, drives down steps in the port city of Rijeka.


Steps of Rijeka. Lionsgate/Screenshot.

According to imdb.com, stunt coordinator Greg Powell explained that they “were often under a lot of restrictions because of the narrow streets and shiny cobbled surfaces, which are slippery as hell, especially when damp”. He added that “we'd have scenes that called for us to be speeding around corners, but we literally couldn't”

3. Bliss (2021)

Protagonist Greg, while down on his luck, meets a mysterious woman, Isabel. Is she real or just a fantasy? As he struggles to make a distinction, we are left to question whether he is caught in a complex computer simulation, or merely experiencing a drug-induced hallucination.


Galerija Meštrović, Split. Amazon studios/Screenshot.

To portray this fantasy world, several locations were filmed in Split and on the island of Lopud, Croatia


Marjan stairs, Split. Amazon Studios/Screenshot.

4. Succession (2018 - present)

This 7-time Emmy award-winning HBO series centers on the Roys, a highly dysfunctional family that owns global entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo. The declining health of the family's patriarch, Logan Roy, ignites an endless fight for power and control.

In the Season 2 finale, scenes portrayed the Roys on vacation along the Croatian coast aboard a luxury yacht.


The Roys on vacation. HBO Max/Screenshot


Season 2 finale. HBO Max/Screenshot

Filming took place in July 2019 and lasted 12 days as the crew traveled around Cavtat, a picturesque region south of Dubrovnik, and the islands of Korčula, Mljet, and Šipan.

Shooting also took place at locations around Zagreb and Rijeka.

5. Mamma Mia: Here we go again (2018)

Returning to where it all began, Donna looks back on her fun and adventure-filled young life as we rediscover the moments where she meets Sophie’s three possible dads.


One of Sophie’s possible dads, played by Colin Firth, arriving in the port of Vis. Universal Pictures/Screenshot

Although the movie was supposed to be set in Greece (fictional island of Kalokairi), filming almost exclusively took place in several locations on the exquisite Croatian island of Vis including Vis harbor, St. Jeronim (St. Jerome) Church, Stiniva, Srebrna, and Barjoška bays.

Fun fact from imdb.com, actors Hugh Skinner, Jeremy Irvine, and Josh Dylan, who played Harry, Sam, and Bill's younger counterparts, lived together in a Croatian villa while filming for 6 weeks. Josh Dylan also arrived in the country 2 weeks earlier to learn how to sail.

6. Robin Hood (2018)

Actors Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx take on the roles of Robin Hood and Little John in a movie remake of the classic tale that combines historical accuracy, contemporary and futuristic elements to achieve its unique take.

Filming began in February 2017 and lasted over 4 months between different primary locations in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Raincy, France.


Enhanced aerial shot of Dubrovnik. Lionsgate/Screenshot

Incident alert! While filming in Dubrovnik, Jamie Foxx was harassed by two drunk locals while having dinner at a restaurant. The men were immediately thrown out by the manager, and police subsequently pursued misdemeanor charges. They were later fined and jailed. Despite this negative isolated incident, Jamie Foxx went on to say that the beauty of the country continued to “blow his mind” and is a “dream come true”.

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

This might be a hard one for fans to spot, but several scenes of Dubrovnik, Croatia make a cameo in the landscape of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.


Stradun, downtown Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik tourism board/Facebook

Without the special effects and digital rendering, you might be able to recognize downtown Dubrovnik as the fictional city of Canto Bight. Portrayed as an interstellar entertainment and nightlife hotspot, the design of Canto Bight was inspired by the city of Monaco.


Star Wars The Last Jedi, Canto Bight chase scene. Disney/Screenshot

The explosive chase scene where Finn and Rose escape from Canto Bight prison while riding a Fathier, was also filmed on the main street of Dubrovnik.

For everything you need to know about filming in Croatia, in your language, be sure to check Total Croatia's page.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 10 February 2022

New Netflix Crime Film with Leighton Meester Set Almost Entirely in Split

February 10, 2022 - Split city center and Diocletian's Palace will serve as main locations for the new Netflix crime film "The Weekend Away" starring actress and "Gossip Girl" star Leighton Meester. Its first trailer was released yesterday and the film will be available on the streaming platform on March 3.

''The Weekend Away'' is the new Netflix crime film and will premiere on the popular streaming platform on March 3 this year. The protagonist is none other than Leighton Meester, world-renowned for her leading role in the youth series ''Gossip Girl'', where she played Blair Waldorf.



Meester began her acting career at a very young age, appearing in guest roles on well-known series such as ''Law and Order'', ''24'', ''Entourage'', or ''House'' until reaching the top of the fame in 2007 in ''Gossip Girl''. Along the way, she has also appeared in romantic movies and comedies. Now, the American actress joins a new project with a more serious facet.



The movie follows two best friends, Beth and Kate, who plan a weekend getaway to Croatia to escape the problems of their everyday lives. But things take a turn for the worse when Kate ends up dead. With eyes on Beth as the prime suspect, Beth must fight to prove her innocence. But along the way, she discovers a painful truth.



The film is adapted from the best-selling novel titled the same name by Sarah Alderson. Alderson wrote the script with Kim Farrant as director. Ben Pugh, Charlie Morrison, and Erica Steinberg produced the film as part of their deal with Netflix. Joining Leighton Meester in her first major role in three years, are Christina Wolfe, Luke Norris, Ziad Bakri, and Croatian actor Amar Bukvić.

You can watch the official trailer, which was released yesterday, below:

For everything you need to know about filming in Croatia, in your language, be sure to check Total Croatia's page.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.