It often happens that legendary films are changed after test screenings, but it is rarer to modify a film when it has already been released in cinemas. However, it has happened more than once for movies, series or even cartoons and there is always a more or less good reason behind it.
1. Product placement has changed in Scooby-Doo 2
In 2004, a film was released that everyone has since forgotten: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. At the time, streaming did not exist and it was therefore 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 who dropped the money. Quite logically, the version broadcast today on video-on-demand sites like HBO MAX is the international version and Americans are therefore seeing this version for the first time.
2. The ending of The Shining was cut a week after its theatrical release
When Shining released in cinemas in 1980, an additional scene exists at the end of the film. We see Danny and Wendy in the hospital and Mr. Ullman, the manager of the Overlook Hotel, who comes to visit them. In this deleted scene, he assures Wendy that the inspectors found nothing strange in the hotel and gives Danny a yellow ball, the same ball that lured Danny to room 237.
After a week of showing at the cinema in New York and Los Angeles, Stanley Kubrick and Warner Bros finally decide to cut the end of the film which they are not satisfied with. For this, Kubrick asks the projectionists to cut the film strip themselves and send the deleted piece back to Warner Bros. studios.
3. A scene from 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 her big sister, but in the version available on Disney+, she hides in a kitchen cabinet closed by a pizza box. It’s much less natural but if it can prevent children from thinking that it’s fun to hide in a dryer, we’re not going to criticize this choice.
4. Hannah Baker’s suicide scene in 13 Reasons Why was deleted
When 13 Reasons Why was released on Netflix, the creators of the series had responded to criticism of the suicide scene by saying that it was fundamental and had to exist to show the reality of the passage à l’acte. And then finally, two years later, they reversed their decision and cut the passage where we see the teenager slitting her veins in her bath to leave only the moment when her mother enters the 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, nobody had noticed before the release of the episode on HBO. The goblet was then digitally removed for the episodes available for streaming, but we know that was not the only product placement in Game of Thrones.
6. Stanley Kubrick cut 20 minutes from 2001, A Space Odyssey
Hearing the feedback from the first spectators at the cinema who found the film too “exhausting”, Stanley Kubrick decided to cut 20 minutes from the film to make it more digestible. We’re not going to complain because the lease already lasts 2h19m, that’s enough.
The funny thing is that the projectionists had to cut scenes themselves from the tapes according to Kubrick’s instructions (which is a rather tedious job where you have to be very precise). Consequently, the film was not exactly the same according to the room where one was going to see it.
7. A scene from The Program was cut due to severe repercussions
When the movie The Program released in the United States in 1993, it contains a scene where 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 stylish to do the same. And unfortunately, one of them died. In order not to create controversy and avoid the death of other stupid high school students, the scene was deleted.
8. Strobe effects have been decreased in The Incredibles 2
In the original film, the scenes where we saw The Hypnotist (or ScreenSlaver) were even more eye-catching than in the film we saw in Europe. After the theatrical release in the United States, viewers told Disney that it was not very friendly for epileptics; so they decided to tone down these visual effects for the film’s international release.