It often happens that legendary films are changed after test screenings, but it is rarer to change a film when it has already been released in theaters. However, it has happened more than once in movies, series or even cartoons and there is always a more or less good reason behind it.
1. The location of the product has changed in Scooby-Doo 2
In 2004, a movie was released that everyone has since forgotten about: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. At that time, streaming did not exist and therefore it was possible to make different versions of the film depending on the country. Burger King had then paid for product placement but only for the United States, so Warner Bros decided to use another brand for the international version of the film and it was KFC that dropped the money. Not surprisingly, the version streaming today on video-on-demand sites like HBO MAX is the international version, and therefore Americans are watching this version for the first time.
2. The ending of The Shining was cut a week after its theatrical release.
When sparkly released in theaters in 1980, there is an additional scene at the end of the film. We see Danny and Wendy at the hospital and Mr. Ullman, the manager of the Overlook Hotel, coming to visit them. In this deleted scene, he assures Wendy that the inspectors didn’t find anything strange in the hotel and gives Danny a yellow ball, the same one that lured Danny to room 237.
After a week of screening in theaters in New York and Los Angeles, Stanley Kubrick and Warner Bros finally decide to cut the ending of the film which they are not satisfied with. To do this, Kubrick asks the projectionists to cut the film strip themselves and send the deleted piece back to Warner Bros. studios.
3. A scene in Lilo and Stitch has been changed to protect young audiences
In the original version of the film. Lilo and Stitch, Lilo hides in a dryer to escape from her older sister, but in the version available on Disney +, she hides in a kitchen cabinet closed by a pizza box. It’s a lot less natural, but if it can keep kids from thinking it’s fun to hide in a dryer, we’re not going to fault this choice.
4. Hannah Baker’s suicide scene in 13 Reasons Why was cut.
When 13 reasons why premiered on Netflix, the creators of the series had responded to criticism about the suicide scene by saying that it was essential and that it had to exist to show the reality of the passage to the act. And then finally, two years later, they reversed her decision and cut the passage where we see the teenager slashing her wrists in her bathroom to leave only the moment when her mother walks into her room.
5. Game of Thrones edited a scene to remove a Starbucks cup.
In episode 4 of the last season of Game of Thrones, a cup of coffee was forgotten and, obviously, no one had noticed before the episode was released on HBO. The cup was then digitally removed for episodes available for streaming, but we know that wasn’t the only product placement on Game of Thrones.
6. Stanley Kubrick cut 20 minutes from 2001’s A Space Odyssey.
Hearing feedback from early viewers at the theater who found the film too “tiresome”, Stanley Kubrick decided to cut 20 minutes from the film to make it more digestible. We are not going to complain because the rental already lasts 2h19m, that is enough.
The funny thing is that the projectionists had to cut the scenes from the tapes themselves following Kubrick’s instructions (which is quite a tedious job where you have to be very precise). Consequently, the film was not exactly the same depending on the room where it was going to be seen.
7. A scene from The Program was cut due to serious repercussions
when the movie The program released in the United States in 1993, it contains a scene in which teenagers lie down in the middle of the road while cars pass very close to them. The problem is that real teenagers in real life thought it would be classy to do the same thing. And unfortunately, one of them died. In order not to create controversy and to avoid the deaths of other stupid high school students, the scene was removed.
8. Strobe effects have been reduced in Incredibles 2
In the original movie, the scenes where we saw The Hypnotist (or ScreenSlaver) were even more eye-catching than in the movie we saw in Europe. After the theatrical release in the United States, Disney was told by viewers that it was not very friendly to epileptics; so they decided to tone down these visual effects for the film’s international release.