NEWARK, N.J. – Friday, September 30th is New Jersey day at the movies as three feature films shot in the state will all be released on that date.
A vast array of New Jersey towns can be seen in Bros, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, and Smile, showcasing the Garden State’s extraordinarily diverse landscape and locations. These motion pictures are among the dozens of major productions filmed in New Jersey recently, featuring some of the entertainment industry’s most celebrated performers.
Universal Pictures’ new romantic comedy Bros, starring Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane, centers on two commitment-phobic gay men entering into a relationship. Directed by Nicholas Stoller, the movie was co-written by Eichner and Stoller and produced by Judd Apatow, Stoller and Joshua Church. Eicher also served as executive producer.
Most of the filming for Bros took place in Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Passaic, and Union counties, including scenes shot in Downtown Cranford, at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, at an apartment building on Moore Street in Hackensack, on Ocean Avenue in Monmouth Beach, at a home on Irving Place in Nutley, at St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic, at The Fox and The Falcon in South Orange, and at Teaneck Cinemas in Teaneck. Additional scenes were filmed in Newark at the Newark Art Museum, and on Edison Place, Commerce Court, and Raymond Blvd. Studio interiors were completed at Palisade Stages in Kearny, this being first project to shoot in the facility since it opened in early 2021.
Universal Pictures reported hiring 120 crew members and 1,000 extras for the filming of Bros, spending over $35 million in New Jersey for labor, goods, and services.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever, starring Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, and Bill Murray, is an adaptation of the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by J.T. Molloy and John “Chickie” Donohue. It tells the true story of a New York City man who traveled to Vietnam in 1967 to bring beer to his childhood buddies in the Army. Directed by Oscar winner Peter Farrelly, the movie was co-written by Farrelly, Brian Currie, and Pete Jones and produced by Farrelly, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Andrew Muscato, and Jake Myers.
1960s New York City was brought to life in North Bergen. The Brass Rail Pub on 76th Street was redressed as Doc Fiddler’s Pub and Bergenline Avenue was transformed into the Inwood section of Manhattan. Additional filming took place in Braddock Park in North Bergen, in Paterson (St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and other sites), and at Michalski Funeral Home, St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Van Vorst Park, and the former Bromirski Funeral Home in Jersey City.
The production company, Skydance Media, spent over $8 million in New Jersey and hired 396 cast and crew members for the filming of The Greatest Beer Run Ever. The movie can be seen in theaters and on Apple TV+.
Smile is a fright flick arriving just in time for the Halloween season. It concerns a young doctor who is hunted by an unknown evil that presents itself through a ghastly smile. The film marks the directorial debut of writer/director Parker Finn and is based on his 2020 short film Laura Hasn't Slept. Smile stars Sosie Bacon, Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Robin Weigert, Caitlin Stasey, Kal Penn, and Rob Morgan.
Filming took place at the Arlington Diner in North Arlington, the Halifax at the W Hotel, River Walk Bike Lane and Union Hall in Hoboken, the Union County Jail in Elizabeth, and at the Murphy Varnish Lofts and Rutgers Medical School in Newark. Other scenes were completed at a townhouse on Bentley Avenue in Jersey City and at Jersey Oil in Kearny, a house in Montclair, and at Lewis Morris Park in Morristown.
Paramount Pictures reported expenditures of $17 million and hired 212 workers for the filming of Smile, which is being released in theatres nationwide.
“Much of the state’s appeal to the motion picture and television industry derives from our diverse portfolio of filming locations and abundance of film-ready communities,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “We are delighted to see so many cities and towns enjoying the excitement of hosting major productions while realizing the considerable economic impact.” “We are winding up another outstanding year for film and television production in New Jersey,” according to Michael Uslan, Chairman of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. Over 45 major projects have been filmed in the state in 2022, and we expect to report record revenues by year’s end.”
About the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission
The NJMPTVC, which falls under the New Jersey Department of State’s Business Action Center, is staffed by industry professionals and serves as a resource for production companies. The Commission promotes film and television production in New Jersey.