It takes a lot of work to make movies, including those B-list ones you half pay attention to while eating chocolate in your bed, but any storyteller knows the hardest part is the ending. Viewers don't appreciate that tweaking those endings could've altered the course of a film's trajectory, and its entire meaning. These 10 movies all made major shifts in their conclusions, without which they may not have been the amazing films we all remember today. Except for The Break-Up. No matter which way you look at it's a solid eating-chocolate-in-bed movie.
1. Pretty In Pink
The 1986 classic teen movie first saw Andie ending up with Duckie, her clearly infatuated nerd BFF. Test audiences did not approve of this true love, so the studio went back and had Andie pick total prepster Blane.
The 1994 classic slacker film at first had a much more explosive ending than Randal telling Dante, "You're closed." Kevin Smith filmed a version that has a random man killing Dante on the job. Smith thankfully decided that his movie didn't need that darkness, so he went with the simpler ending.
Watch the murder of Dante:
3. The Break-Up
At first, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn's characters decided to stay true to the movie's title, and did not glance lovingly in the street at each other, but went their separate ways with new lovers who looked just like each other. Rumor is that the studio nixed this ending after learning that people wanted Aniston to get the happy ending fans thought she deserved after the tabloid circus that was Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in 2006.
Ridley Scott's classic 1979 movie was almost quite different in a few ways. Sigourney Weaver initially had no place in the film, because the original script had Ripley as a man. The script was re-written and Weaver finally beat out Meryl Streep for the role.
As filming went on and Scott received more money from Fox, he decided to make things even more groundbreaking/freaky by killing Ripley. The freaky part comes in when the alien, after killing Ripley, recorded a final message in Ripley's log and imitated her voice. Producers convinced Scott to forget this ending, which was great for everyone who ended up making money off the sequels.
5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Sorry to spoil things for you, but this is the most outrageous original ending out of all of these: E.T. DIED. Cold-hearted Steven Spielberg ruined the movie for a test audience who had to suffer through E.T. dying in the government facility. Fortunately, the audience hated that ending, and the 1982 film was amended to become the famous death-free tear-jerker it is now.
6. Thelma and Louise
The 1991 female friendship movie that gave a world a glimpse at future star Brad Pitt was originally was a complete downer. Instead of fading out on Thelma and Louise's car, the camera first followed the convertible as it fell into the canyon. That moment followed with Detective Slocumb looking into the canyon that Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon's characters drove into. Directly Ridley Scott nixed these last few seconds to the movie could end with the two friends.
Watch the first ending:
7. Fatal Attraction
Viewers should feel very fortunate that they can enjoy the bathtub scene in 1987's Fatal Attraction, as it almost didn't exist. Audiences were first treated to Glenn Close's character committing suicide and Michael Douglas's character being charged with murder. Following that arrest, Douglas's on-screen wife found a tape recording from the rather unstable Alex admitting the suicide, and there was a graphic flashback to the act.
Here's that scene:
8. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The 1969 Western with Robert Redford and Paul Newman initially had a much more brutal ending in which viewers watched the two get gunned down by an army. Ultimately, film didn't go the Bonnie and Clyde route and instead finished with a freeze frame on the two lovely gentlemen. Despite this kinder film editing, they certainly did not make it.
9. DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story
The 2004 sports comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller initially had the Average Joes losing the final game, reversing the Hollywood underdog tale. Then the film sold out after test audiences didn't enjoy this more realistic ending, letting the Average Joes win, giving Vaughn's character a lot of money, and forcing Ben Stiller to do his "Milkshake" dance.
Witness the fall of the Average Joes:
10. Pretty Woman
The original incarnation of Pretty Woman was titled $3,000, and it had a much different vibe. According to its breakout star Julia Roberts, $3,000 was written as "a really dark and depressing, horrible, terrible story about two horrible people and my character was this drug addict, a bad-tempered, foulmouthed, ill-humored, poorly educated hooker who had this weeklong experience with a foulmouthed, ill-tempered, bad-humored, very wealthy, handsome but horrible man and it was just a grisly, ugly story about these two people."
In short, Edward and Vivian didn't end up together and $3,000 wasn't the movie teen girls love today.
If Pretty Woman hadn't ended like it did, then how else would young people learn the fairytale side of prostitution?