The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

Extra scenes in the text credits – are they tasty Easter eggs or just annoying?

with 43 comments

“Are there any extra scenes during or after the text credits?”

This is the first frequently asked question to be posted at the IMDb page of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Please observe that the question is put in plural. You can’t be too careful these days.

Without any proof of it, I have the feeling that extra scenes have become more common over the years. And there are more of them in every movie. You can’t be certain there’s just one extra scene and that you’ve seen all when you’re through it. There might very well be another one around the corner that you don’t want to miss out.

Not missing out is crucial. If you once or twice have experienced the humiliation of discussing the movie with your friends only to found out that you left the theat5re too early, you don’t want to do that again.

Research required
Theatre visits nowadays requires careful research in advance. Is there one extra scene? Two? Maybe as many as three?

There’s nothing that can surprise me anymore. For all I know they could very well let the screen go all black, turning on the lights for a few minutes to wait for the clueless people to leave. And then, when they would be absolutely certain that only the geekiest of the geeky still were around in the theatre, would they turn on the film again, treating them with yet another shot. The ultimate post-post-post extra, the special nod that only True Fans deserve.

The alternative to do your homework is to wait it out. Better safe than sorry. Hang around in the theatre, pick your teeth, rub your nose until every single person involved in the film production down to the boy who refills the coffee machine has had the pleasure to see their name on a big screen. Then, and only then, can you rise up and leave at your own risk.

The problem with this is that not all theatres are keen on having you hanging around. They’re in a hurry to clean up the worst mess and people in for the next screening.

In some theatres they’ll turn up the light as soon as the first name rolls over the screen. This will make leave their seats even quicker, and you can bet that those early leavers will end up standing right in front of your seat, taking up half of the screen while they frenetically check their cell phones to see what they’ve missed during their two hour absence from social media.

Even if you try hard to stay calm and sit through all the names to see what’s hidden in the very end, it might be a so-and-so experience due to all that is going on around you.

I’m not an advocator of piracy on the web, but if there’s any circumstance where I think it’s justified to put out films on the web for others to see, it’s in situations like this. I don’t encourage anyone to upload the entire movie, because I think it’s wrong. But if you share the extras, I won’t argue against it. After all it means that you save the day for a whole bunch of unhappy theatre visitors who paid to see the entire movie but who left the cinema too early since they had no idea that they should have waited it out.

Easter egg or annoyance?
So what’s my personal view on extras? Is it a nay or a yay?

Well, there’s no doubt that extras causes a bit of annoyance, most recently in The Avengers. All of a sudden people on the net were discussing something about “shawarma” in connection to the text credits and I had no idea of what that was referring to. For a moment I speculated on if that was some extra terrestrial life form, since I had seen something relating to this, but finally I found out the truth: it had to do with food. However, since I live inEurope, I hadn’t seen it. Only the North American audience got to see this extra-extra scene. Bummer.

On the other hand, believe it or not after all this whining, I’m also sucker for extras during the text credits. I freaking love it, as much as I love to get a little surprise “on the house” in restaurants (as long as it’s more creative than a fortune cookie or a piece of mint candy).

It often feels as if the filmmakers finally are allowed to relax when they come to the extras, getting sillier and more creative at the same time. Even such a simple thing as photos of what “happened next” is enough to amuse me. I still remember how much I enjoyed the images in the end of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Duckface marrying someone you might not have expected, accompanied by some real up-beat music. I loved the bloopers that Pixar included in some movies such as A Bug’s Life. I would even go as far as to say that there are cases where the extra scene during the text credits is one of the best things about the entire film, such as in Super 8.

We’re talking about Easter eggs here. And what it boils down to is that they’re wonderful as long as you get one. The moment you’re not included, you’ll think of them as annoying.

What I wish for
I wouldn’t want the extra scenes to go away. But if I could ask for something, I wish that the film distributors could make sure to inform the theatres about their existence. Just tell them to keep the lights off at least until the extra scenes are over. It would work as a gentle signal to the theatre audience that they shouldn’t hurry so much to leave their seats, that there might be more to come.

And to all of you film fans who are active on the webs, be it forums, blogs, Twitter or IMDb: keep spreading the word when there are extras worth waiting for!

Don’t reveal the content. We don’t need it to be spoiled to us. But just let as know when we need to stay. Sharing the eggs with others won’t make them less delicious.

Written by Jessica

May 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm

43 Responses

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  1. Another point in favor of the DVD experience over the theater experience. Post-credit scenes are so common now that I’ve developed the habit of fast-forwarding through the credits instead of skipping them to make sure I don’t miss any little bits at the end.

    martinteller

    May 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    • Personally, I love watching the credits to see some of the names involved – and i love it when a joke name is involved or something like that. Post credit scenes are good when they add a bit of sting to the story, or a good laugh, or are boopers (God I miss Jackie Chan already!) that add insight into the making of the film. There should be more of it, IMO.

      Rodney Twelftree

      May 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    • It does speak to the advantage of home watching. Which kind of sucks. Because all in all I WANT to watch films in theatres.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

  2. Even after being told, my wife and I almost walked out on Super 8 right as the credits started to roll. The projectionist came down and told us to sit back down. I was so embarrassed– I should have known better. I often do what MT does– fast forward through the credits to make sure nothing’s left over.

    I understand that movie makers would like us to read all the credits. But that won’t happen, there’s just too many. And I hate waiting. But, like you Jessica, I love extra special bits. So I wait. Usually.

    Steve Kimes

    May 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    • That was a good projectionist! I’ve never ever had a projectionist point such a thing out. Sometimes I wonder if they still exist. I imagine it’s all just one controlroom running those digital copies from a distance. Who knows if there’s a singel soul in the machine room of the theatre nowadays?

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

  3. At the cinema I always sit through the credits because it gives me a moment to reflect on a film I’ve just seen, and calmly wait for the mad rush to the exits to subside. Also oftentimes I like to see all the music and soundtrack credits when there was a song I liked but didn’t recognize. At home I usually skip forward to that section. Unless it was a movie that left me stunned, or an amazing song playing at the end, then I sit there and let it run. But never do I do it just in case there might be a tacked on extra scene.

    Bonjour Tristesse

    May 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    • Some movies make me want to sit through the credits calmly to reflect and just let the film sink in. But not everyone. It also depends quite a bit on the audience. If everyone else starts messing with their phones, babbling, taking their clothes etc I might be better off heading out, walking home in quietness rather than staying around in the mess.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm

  4. The other thing that I enjoy during credits is when there’s bonus stuff *in* the credits. It is usually only reserved for animated movies, especially Pixar. Give me a reason to be interested in the credits instead of just a list of names scrolling across the screen to music.

    Bubbawheat

    May 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    • I love that too. Even a small thing, as an interesting drawing or a fancy way of doing them can be enough for me to think it’s worth sitting through.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

  5. It does make you feel that little bit more special if you stick around for a post credit scene. It proves that you’re not just an average film goer. You’re something more.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been waiting for a post credit scene only to be moved around by cinema staff who are cleaning up the cinema after the screening.

    Jaina

    May 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    • *Nods*. Yep. It’s the “special club” feeling. In that way I suppose it might take a bit away if everyone else has watched it too. But the advantages weigh over. If everyone stays around to watch the extras since they know about them, we can do it without disturbing elements such as people dressing.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

  6. I kind of like them but i remember sitting trough all the credits at x-men first class and it wasn´t any extra scenes. Kind of annoying 😦

    filmitch

    May 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    • I hear you. Yes, from some movies you kind of start to expect them and when they don’t turn up it is a bit of a bummer.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  7. Today I watched Mirror Mirror and basically within five seconds of the end credits starting it went into a music video, so I hung around and watched (even though it wasn’t that good) until it then went to normal credits. I’m perfectly fine with this sort of thing. Super 8 and Slumdog Millionaire are other great examples. What I don’t tolerate is when they have a fully conventional credit sequence for 5 minutes and then spring something on you. I won’t wait for those, even if I know they are coming, simply on principle.

    Bondo

    May 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    • I agree wholeheartedly. If the extras are something you want people to see you should let them start immediately so everyone has a chance to get them.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

  8. Call me crazy but I actually think it’s sad that so few people stay behind to watch the credits for the sake of simply watching the credits and that they’re bribed into doing so by extra scenes. If we’ve enjoyed the film, we’ll happily sit through them, and have the added fun of checking out locations, music and odd names, etc. A film requires a huge team, but it seems that all people care about are the stars, those who’ve learned the lines, dressed up and played the parts – and maybe the director. The audience doesn’t care about all the others on the team that have made the film what it is.

    Alq

    May 18, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    • That is true. We’re so busy nowadays that we don’t have the interest or patience to look at the names. On the other hand… I actually spend much MORE time learning about the makers of the movies than I used to. The difference is that I don’t study it in the text credits. I see it at IMDb during my innumerous hours spent on looking up such things. It’s so different now than to how it used to be.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm

  9. You can’t believe the number of people I’ve encountered who think the end of the movie is when the credits start to roll. When I tell them about an extra scene they always try to say they saw the entire movie and that scene wasn’t in it. I like the scenes. Sometimes there are little jokes in the credits, too. I’m not usually in a hurry to leave the theater, so I often stay and read the credits. If there’s an extra scene, so much the better. As for the theater itself, by the time the movie has played once they are aware of any extra scenes. Some theaters just don’t care. I’m not intimidated by them if they start to come in early. I just ignore them.

    Chip

    May 19, 2012 at 12:01 am

    • Yeah, i don’t worry about the poor saps who come in and start cleaning up while the film’s still playing – I paid to see the whole thing, and I’m not leaving til the screen goes black or that studio logo comes up.

      Rodney Twelftree

      May 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    • Yeah, the annoying thing though is when they actually shut off the movie until everything has rolled. I have experienced that.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm

  10. I hate scenes during credits and/or after them. I have to side with Michael Haneke on this: instead of playing music or showing clips during his end credits like most directors do, there is nothing but complete silence as the names come up on screen. He does this so the viewer has some time to sit in their chair and think about the film they’ve just watched, instead of getting overwhelmed by more images. I think more directors should adopt this technique.

    Tyler

    May 19, 2012 at 1:37 am

    • I wouldn’t say that there’s one solution that works for all movies. In a lighthearted animated movie or superhero movie I don’t see the harm. But if there would be some kind of pranks and extra scenes during the text credits in a Haneke movie… that would be completely out of place. So I’d say it depends on the film and film maker.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm

  11. I vote for annoyance. If I leave and discover later that there’s a bonus scene, I’m disappointed that I missed it. If I stay and there isn’t one, I’m disappointed that I wasted my time.

    SJHoneywell

    May 19, 2012 at 5:39 am

  12. I don’t have a problem with it if the extras in question are throwaways or stand-alones. I do have a problem if the extra scenes fundamentally change the outcome of the film (like the Dawn of the Dead remake). If you can’t tell your story within the framework of the real movie itself, then you didn’t do your job right. At least, that’s this one man’s opinion.

    Nick

    May 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    • If they put movie changing scenes in the extra’s, they’re really taking a huge risk that the movie goers will experience something different than the intention. It should really be something you can live without.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm

  13. Excellent post! I’m annoyed by those extra scenes – I always miss them because I refuse to sit through 10 minutes of boring credits just to see some tiny, 15 second long snippet. I usually watch them when the movie is out on DVD and more often than not I come to the conclusion that have I sat through the end credits just to see those scenes, I would be wasting my time.

    sati

    May 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    • Thanks! I think it varies. Some extras are really just a waste of time, but others will no doubt put a smile on my face as I leave the cinema Worth the wait or not? Well… depends on my stress level.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

  14. Well, I think the reason for it is pretty apparent, and also communicated entirely by this song: http://www.myspace.com/oxhornbrand/music/songs/the-credits-song-63002711 the idea is to get people to actually sit through the credits. They did it with songs for a long time. The people who had the influence and poplularity also got it in the form of credits in the title sequence. Can it be a little annoying? sure. But I think it’s a well intentioned one, and I much prefer it to less well intentioned ones, like the ads prior to movies. I’d understand if they did more with it honestly, lots of people have put potentially years into what you enjoy for a couple of hours. Billions of dollars spent, they just want people to know they made it.

    • I’m afraid that song isn’t available where I live, but I’m sure it was a good one.

      The number of names is usually honestly too high for me to pay all that much attention to them. I’m just thinking about the movie or waiting for the extra scene, not studying name. But on the other hand I DO look much more at names than I used to – just not in the theatre. I do it at IMDb.

      Jessica

      May 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      • Didn’t say the solution was ideal, and yeah, movies these days take an incredible amount of people to make. I’ve heard good arguments for or against this sort of thing, but I do think it exists primarily just to increase the chance you’ll watch the credits. Whether that’s right or not (takes a lot of people to make a building, doesn’t mean it’s going to have your name listed anywhere on it.) is an entirely different question I guess. I know I’d be sad if nobody ever read my by line on my site though.

  15. I’m not a huge fan of post-credit scenes. I think, in most cases, they don’t add anything significant to the experience. There are exceptions, of course, like the Avengers teaser at the end of Captain America.

    fernandorafael

    May 21, 2012 at 6:10 am

    • It really varies. Especially when it’s a fun, upbeat movie I think they can give a little extra boost in the end. But it needs to feel like they’ve put an effort into this too, not just like some junk they toss to you for no good reason.

      Jessica

      May 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

  16. Since when did they start having something like this? I will stay until the finish if the score sounds like a extensive emotional part of the film,otherwise I will just leave it,I don’t really care about extra scenes that much.

    david

    May 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

    • I don’t know when it started tbh. I just have the feeling that it has become more and more common. Perhaps someone with a deeper knowledge in the history of cinema knows the answer.

      Jessica

      May 21, 2012 at 10:02 am

      • The first example I can think of is AIRPLANE! from 1980, though there may be well earlier instances.

        martinteller

        May 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm

  17. Brilliant post Jessica. I am on the side of annoyance when they come at the end of the credits. I just wanna get to the toilet after a film… my bladder isn’t what it used to be. But I did love the ones that PIXAR did with toy story and bugs life… and cars! SO I dunno. I guess I am fickle.

    • Thanks Scott! The text credits starting to roll are pretty bladder triggering, aren’t they? It’s kind of automatic. The basic body mechanisms don’t accept that it’s not over quite yet. So I reckon the state of your bioneeds also can affect if you enjoy the extras or just get annoyed at them.

      Jessica

      May 21, 2012 at 10:51 am

  18. Great post! I’m in favor of them actually. I mean, I usually wait until the crowd dies down before leaving the cinema anyway, so it’s nice to get an extra reward for it 🙂 I do agree that I wish the studios would let us know ahead of time. I knew about the Avengers extra scene from Twitter actually, and yeah, for sure don’t spoil the content. Keywords are fine but I still would rather be completely surprised.

    ruth

    May 22, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    • Thank you! No, I don’t think you necessarily should share the content of the extras, especially not over twitter, where there usually isn’t any space for proper spoiler warnings. It’s enough to just give a heads-up that there IS something. But again: I don’t hold it against anyone if they put out the extras on Youtube, helping out those who missed it.

      Jessica

      May 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm

  19. To me they are a big annoyance. Just recently I’ve missed post credit scenes because I didn’t know about in The Grey, Battleship and Super 8 (maybe that last one was during the credits). It’s just extremely annoying and don’t understand why it is done.

    Nostra

    May 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

    • Well… I’m not as categorical as you. But yes, I can see why you’ll get really annoyed when you’ve missed something. I react the same way. And in the case of Avengers with a North America only scene… that was just meh.

      Jessica

      May 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm


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