Test screening refers to preview screenings of movies to check both how viewers will react and its rating system by Motion Picture Association of America (from family-friendly to mature) to ensure that the film is complete and ready to be viewed. Some movies encountered some problems in test screening and received poor reception (or some other films are gave an postive reception), leading to either re-shoots, editing, re-dub or scenes that are received poorly to be edited out and removed until it had to rushed after the release date, or even worst that some other scenes or uncuts are very rare to find on public releases.
Which later in possibly 2010s it use to make of "Director's Cut" or "Extended Cut" that it use to find of the lost scenes from films that it can be fixed and make it on released from mostly cinemas and even DVD or Blu-Ray that it gave an praise from moviegoers and even critics.
Examples of Corruption
- In a kids’ films, if it has a scary and even gruesome theme, said theme will be either kept or removed.
- In the animated film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, footage showed the main antagonist Joker tortured Robin and turned him to JJ (known as Joker Junior). Batman is stabbed painfully by the Joker's knife so he gave Junior an prop gun to shoot Batman but then Junior shoots at the Joker, leaving his final words "That's not funny... that's not...". The reason why it was removed was that it was followed in the infamous event of Columbine High School massacre so Warner Bros Studios was worried. They edited the Joker's death so that water was all over him and accidentally electrocuted to death. Three years after the massacre it was released as The Original Uncut Version, showing the true death of the Joker only in PG-13 along all the footage that had been been removed.
- The Disney animated film The Black Cauldron was going to be 92 minutes, but it was requested that Jeffrey Katzenberg (a former worker of Disney until he worked with DreamWorks) remove 12 minutes worthy of scenes that were deemed as too graphic and scary for kids. In the scene when the main antagonist, The Horned King, rises from the Cauldron and jumps at his useless henchmen, some gruesome death scenes were found on YouTube.
- Scooby-Doo: entire scenes were used on the PG-13 version, but test audiences felt they were very scary for young children. Some other scenes were removed in the final cut and never released on the DVD version.
- Ralph Bakshi's 1992 animated/live action movie Cool World is a rare example of this, not even being meant for kids in the first place and more to do with executive meddling rather than test audience reaction. It was originally going to be an R-rated horror movie where Jack Deebs (a normal human) and Debbie Dallas (a cartoon woman; she ended up being Holli Would in the final film) have a half-human and half-cartoon daughter who hates herself and considers murdering her father because she feels neglected by him. Unfortunately, the movie's producer Frank Mancuso Jr. (who ironically produced the Friday the 13th films for Paramount) objected to the movie's original premise and secretly rewrote the screenplay into a PG-13 rated Who Framed Roger Rabbit? knock-off as Paramount was also looking for a way to cash in on that movie's success. To add insult to injury, Kim Basinger, who played Holli Would in the film, also agreed with the producer to make the film more "family-friendly" so she can show the movie to sick children in hospitals. The end result led to it having an inconsistent tone, loads of plot holes in the story alone, and not only being the movie that caused Bakshi to retire from making movies, but also derailed Frank and Kim's careers.
- In Toy Story, when Pixar bought the rights from Walt Disney Animation Studios until the head known as Jeffrey Katzenberg told Pixar to make the story adult and cynical. The main protagonist Sheriff Woody is portrayed as a selfish and rude leader. The result backfired horribly; after a screening for the Disney executives known as "The Black Friday Incident", Roy Disney declared it the worst thing he'd ever seen, while company president Peter Schneider wanted the entire film scrapped. Katzenberg realized that he had a negative effect on the film's production after a discussion with Thomas Schumacher, and Pixar was given two weeks to rewrite the film as they saw fit.
- Removing footage that involves important scenes that follow the script. If this happens, it can leave viewers confused and affect the reception of that movie from moviegoers, fans, and critics.
- The original Japanese version of Pokémon The First Movie opens with the 'Origin of Mewtwo' where Mewtwo is friends with a young girl name Ambertwo (a failed clone of Amber, the deceased daughter of one of the scientists) until she died. For its international release, 4Kids Entertainment cut that scene, redubbed and edited the rest of the movie to play out like an episode from the TV series.
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad had few differences to the final cut. As it has been found by the fandom on the internet, the film was originally running about in 110 minutes. When Britt is pushed by the audiences agaiest her wishes where the film only got about in 85 minutes is are the few reasons why the film got negative reviews. Later it gained a cult-following from the internet as they wanted the uncut version to released.
- The main antagonist P.T. Boomer (portrayed as Doug Lennox) where he was jealous of Burnett Stone that it stole from Tasha and he is the one is wreck Lady not Diesel 10 (which Diesel 10 is the secondary villain), but after the test screening it was too scary for younger audiences which it was been cut and edited down, which Boomer can be found in minor parts of the final cut and it also found footage of the chase scene on YouTube.
- The voice cast was changed after the test, John Bellis an both a fireman and part-time taxi driver that he is originally play as Thomas but it was reported to sound too old so it was changed to Edward Glen. Next is Diesel 10 that was played by Australian voice actor Keith Scott (who also play as Bullwinkle J. Moose in " The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" and even the Narrator from "George of the Jungle" along with " The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle") but like Doug it was too scary which is why it was replaced with Neil Crone with an Russian accent but the testers think it was too offensive. Thusly, he gave him a New Jersey accent.
- Heaven's Gate had its biggest problem in the test screening. The edited version is 149 minutes long (it originally ran at 325 minutes, which meant 5 hours and 25 minutes; director Michael Cimino only cut it down to 149 minutes in an attempt to save the movie from its negative reviews) and had become the worst movie in cinema; later in 2012 it was re-released with 219 minutes long making usage of lost footage from the film. The critics gave positive reviews of the director's cut.
- Event Horizon was meant to run by 130 minutes, featuring highly gore scenes that made it pass at the R rating. Paramount Pictures was worried and 30 minutes were removed to make it only a MA rating, One of the producers who worked in the film got the full footage on VHS but has never been shown.
- The 1993 film known as Super Mario Bros. was heavily edited from the test audience for unknown reasons. Current lost scenes are found on the trailers and images; for example the victim is turned into green ooze in the Devo Chamber was removed in the final cut which you can clearly seen the green ooze on the floor.
- In Maximum Overdrive some scenes were cut from the test audiences. Back then, it passed from R rating. An example: the kid head exploded by the steamroller. The frame is seen but some other frames are gone.
- The Thief and the Cobbler is supposed to have been made by smoothly animation by Richard Williams (who also made Who Framed Roger Rabbit). It took about few years to completed until some the movie agents rejected the director and then the test audiences became confused from the scenes so it was cut with the help of Miramax to create this movie after when the film was released before Disney's Aladdin but it became as a critical failure. Few years later, multiple fans created with the help of Richard Williams what is known as the Recobbed Cut.
- In the third computer-animated film based on the "Angry Birds" video game The Angry Birds Movie the script featured the famous YouTuber named Toby Turner (also known as Tobuscus). He was going to appear as a bird character name "Perry" as a cameo like Smosh as Hal and Bubbles, but after voice recording sessions Toby's role was rejected from the final cut as the test audiences didn't like Toby. Apparently, this happened due to Toby's sexual abuse allegations.
- Walking with Dinosaurs was originally supposed to be a silent film, with no dialogue or voice-overs where some dinosaurs never talk. But the test audiences -producers included- however felt confused as they felt there was an overall lack of plot, and thus voices were dubbed over the finished animation, presumably in an attempt to capture the success of earlier talking dinosaur films like Dinosaur and The Land Before Time.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was going to have many gruesome deaths (Conan O'Brien shooting himself at the mouth), lots of profanity, more songs and more stories. When MPAA became involved, most of the footage was completely deleted before the final release.
- If the movie has a sad ending (known as a "downer ending") where, for example, the main protagonist dies while the main antagonist wins, test audiences are likely to be angered, resulting with a reshoot or a reedit so that the movie has a happy ending.
- The remake of Little Shop of Horrors was originally going to end with Audrey II eating the two protagonists Audrey and Semore, and subsequently "ruling" the world by destroying and eating all that remains of human civilization. The theatrical version instead ends with the main hero destroying the plant. The original ending was made available in Blu-Ray versions of the movie.
- In the 1999 horror movie Deep Blue Sea the original ending was that the heroine have finally destroyed the man-eating shark, but until then the audience despised the ending and reply to the director quote "Kill this bitch", so the ending was changed to the shark killing the main heroine.
- The 2007 movie I Am Legend was originally going to end like the 1954 novel, with Neville realizing that he is the monster to the Darkseekers (which was the point of the novel) and tries to make peace with them. Apparently, the test audience didn't like this ending and wanted a different ending. It was instead changed to an ending that removes all reason for the movie to be called "I Am Legend", where Neville blows up the lab with the Darkseekers and himself. Eventually, the movie's original ending was made available on its special DVD version under the "Controversial Original Ending" option.
- Not much of the bad ending from Jaws: The Revenge was left in the theatrical release when Ellen rams the Neptune's Folly into the shark, heavily bleeds and eventually sinks into the ocean. Later in, both theatrical and DVD releases the shark death was changed when Ellen rams it and causing the shark to exploded into pieces (which you can clearly see at freeze-frame, showing poorly created special effects) due to how test audiences wanted to change the shark death by being exploded.
- In 2007 independent found footage supernatural horror Paranormal Activity had about two original endings and one alternate. First was that the police arrived and shoot Katie and the second was that possessed Katie walked with the kitchen knife and cut herself in the throat, commiting suicide. When Paramount Pictures executives acquired the film, they were shocked after seeing it and wanted to ask the director to changed the ending. Micah is thrown out and then the possessed Katie destroys the camera or possibly the police arrived and shoot at Katie, kickstarting the sequel.
- The original ending for National Lampoon's Vacation had it the Griswolds not getting into Wally World.