As the end credits rolled to the sounds of a somber Frank Sinatra ballad, New Jersey got its thank you.
For two blink-and-you-miss-it seconds at the end of the box office smash “Joker,” the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission logo graces the screen just below a brief hat tip to the state of New York.
And what, exactly, did the Garden State do to get its name forever etched in DC Comics — and possibly, Oscar’s — history?
It gave away $2 million in tax credits to the studio that made the movie under a recently revived program designed to draw big Hollywood business to New Jersey.
“Joker,” filmed on the streets of New Jersey in the fall of 2018 and up for 11 Academy Awards on Sunday, is the most prominent film yet to receive some of the state’s tax largesse since Gov. Phil Murphy in 2018 reinstated the controversial initiative that former Gov. Chris Christie killed because he loathed watching Snooki and the rest of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” gang.
“It’s time that we saw something besides a Georgia peach after a program,” said Steven Gorelick, executive director of the commission. “The people who live in New Jersey are extremely excited and proud about it. There’s a lot of pride seeing your town being captured by these great cinematographers and directors.”
In all, New Jersey awarded more than $57 million in tax breaks last year through the New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program, which supporters say creates jobs in production, photography, construction and other fields.
Newark’s Market Street plays a prominent role at the opening of “Joker,” which is set in 1980s Gotham. Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City’s Journal Square and William J. Brennan Courthouse on Newark Avenue can also be spotted in pivotal scenes.
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