After or During Credit Scenes: Expectation or Treat?

Scene ends, you are left with a cliff hanger or some sort of resolution; screen cuts to black. The word ‘fin’ shows and credits roll. Lights in the theater rise and everyone begins gathering their belonging. They shimmy down the narrow aisles in a line and head towards the door. Everyone went on with their day content and fulfilled with the 88 minute feature that they just witnessed. This was the experience in theaters of movies past, rarely did a movie pull a Ferris Bueller giving you something to stay in the seats for.

Today is a much different venture. Numerous comic book movies, book adaptions, or just about any movie hoping for the green light of a sequel will put a 15 second tease or comedic tag along during the cycling white font. They can put these at the beginning, or hidden, waiting to jump out at you from the middle of the credits scroll. Maybe even at the very end before the screen reveals itself as just a blank off white hanging canvas. Maybe even all three.

Everyone leaves hyped; theorizing what it could mean or laughing with friends over the hilarious parting limerick from our favorite fourth wall breaking character. Viewers take to their phones texting, blogging, reddit-ing, uploading videos, and talking to their best friends to share in a community of movie going.

Word of mouth: the best promotion tool that movie productions companies can’t buy. We, the consumer, do not seem to mind, as many of us find ourselves checking our phones before the movie or as soon as the credits appear for if we need to stay in our seats for the extra little cherry on top of the sundae, or if we are free to empty our bladders that we have been holding since the end of act one. Others have just programmed themselves to stay on the edge of their seat waiting. When it doesn’t happen some emerge from dark hallway and out the theater doors disgruntled feeling like they missed out on something they were owed.

I, personally, am a huge fan of story telling. The adventures that you go on and the relationships that you build with the characters capture my attention. There are few to no movies [or shows] that I ever feel should not be continued. Regardless of the critic scoring, audience reviews, or production value of feature, I am ready to stick it through and can be very forgiving of past faults or sins of the series. In fact, that is the reason in which I continued watching Heroes, for seasons after it’s prime and it’s very short return.

For that exact reason I am a fan of the end credit scenes and anything to further a future addition to the universe. I will admit that I am that person with shoulders slouched, saddened that the director didn’t choose to take the time to lay a breadcrumb for something else.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that some directors (or any story tellers) set out with a goal and once their agenda or commentary has been shared with no intention of continuing or expanding upon the original. Nothing is wrong with the decision to omit a possible credit scene, but the movie goer in me loves any extra “value” that is added by something we would otherwise not have seen.

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