I'll start off with the plain and obvious - the purpose of credits is well, to give credit to all the people who made the movie possible. The reason I say this is because some of you might have never watched an entire sitting of a movie since you usually leave the moment the lights turn on. Well vampires, have I got news for you! A lot has changed from the earlier days of cinema, specifically where there was an impromptu competition of sorts to get the longest credits purely for publicity. It started with movies in the 70s like Star Wars (series), Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Superman which all had long credits length of times such as around 11 minutes (*correct me if I'm wrong*). Then it was also done through the talents of Peter Jackson with Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) at 9 and a half minutes which is arguably longer in the extended edition. For the sake of first place, the longest ending credits to a (mainstream) movie which I'm unsure about (because of the internet) is Aliens Vs Predator (2004) at 12 minutes.
If you're still reading this and didn't skip the history lesson, then you're probably that person who sits through most if not all the credits. Congratulations! Being a modern film connoisseur you already know the advantages:
- A montage of shots from the movie summarising how great the movie was or awesome CG (computer generated) titles
- A list of people and companies you'll want to contact if you want to get into the movie industry (not Tom Cruise as a guy with a generic name like Jack but more like Skydance Productions).
- More importantly, depending on the movie there will hopefully be 1 maybe 2 end credit scenes that: explains more of the movie, ties up loose ends or link it to the next movie in the franchise.
Let's be honest, the main reason people stay behind is to watch those end credit scenes. The last moment when I remember a lot of the audience staying behind through to the end is during an IMAX screening of Iron Man 3 - almost everyone stayed until the end which was great because I got to meet my people! It also makes sense to stay in your seat simply because you paid to see it and you could get a bonus (scene) with it - why not?
In my opinion, I think that post credit scenes are the best thing since movies themselves. The added content, though brief, adds more value to the movie and sometimes gives you more to think about which to me is an important aspect of a good movie - food for thought is ideal for a healthy diet.
Do you stay behind to watch the credits of a movie?
Although, (post) credit scenes need to be done right otherwise you end up feeling like you've wasted your time (including the the cleaner's). Back to IM3... good movie... pointless credit scene. It was bad probably because the director Shane Black put himself in the position where good reactions from the audience hinged on the scene having a good joke. It could have been better. Combined with the obvious fact that it was a long build up, the scene became something not worth much to watch (in terms of expectations). It's going to be on the internet anyway *looks down at video*. Especially considering that every Marvel fan is still waiting for at least an announcement of a new Hulk movie - underusing Mark Ruffalo is not cool Kevin Feige.
One movie which I think has an exemplary credits scene is Rise of the Planet of the Apes (ROTPOTA). Even if you haven't watched the original movie(s), you'll see that it's very simple, sets up the next movie and all through a story with no dialogue but still contains a big connotation. It may or may not be as great as the original movie's ending but it's certainly close.
The reason I find that credit sequence so great is because it tells so much with so little and that's hard to do; but anyway tell me what is your favourite credit scene and if you usually don't watch any then what would it take for you to want to stay till the very end?