Before many of our favorite movies hit the theatres they are previewed by test audiences to see if the movie studios have a hit on their hands.  The best part of this is that there is an opportunity to make changes if they don’t get the expected response.  This is how the alternate ending is born. 

The Little Shop of Horrors was a story of boy meeting girl and the two of them fall in love. But instead of them living happily ever after (the way you remember it); they are eaten by a meat eating plant called Aubrey II.  Well when shown to the test audience they were horrified and felt the ending was too traumatic for the movie.  This information caused the producers to change the ending to the boy and girl being alive and end love forever, while Aubrey II is electrocuted.

The Butterfly Effect was a movie where Ashton Kutcher’s character, Evan Treborn keeps trying to go back into the past and change thing to positively affect the outcome of his present day life.  Each time he goes back; he makes things worse.  Well the alternate ending was Evan eventually walking away from the love of his life so that she wouldn’t know him in the present.  Well, as many of you know instead the audience preferred the ending where Evan concentrates on his mom giving birth and goes back into the womb and strangles himself with the umbilical cord.  Now we must all admit, that’s the stuff great movies are made of.

Fatal Attraction was every man’s worst nightmare, especially if they were having affairs themselves.  Well producers originally wanted to end the movie with Glenn Close’s character Alex committing suicide.  After the audience saw the initial ending they weren’t in favor of it.  The entire team from the movie returned to film the very memorable, very scary ending.  Thanks testers, you were right on the money.

Terminator 2 was the second installment of the series where the Arnold Schwazenegger’s character comes to save Sarah Connor and her son John from the newer, faster terminator and to help shut down Skynet.    The alternate ending shows an older Sarah Connor and her son John Connor has become a Senator and life is beautiful for them in a world where there is no Skynet never existed.

It is fascinating to think how much better or worse some of our favorite movies would have been if the ending had been different.  The test audience has done a great job in picking the choice that we would want to see the most.  Thank goodness for that, we may have ended up with movies that were bombs instead of hits.  So next time you are at the movies, remember that the ending has been tested and approved for your viewing enjoyment.