Retrocon 2024

1980s Movie Post-Credit Scenes and Their Influence on Entertainment

The 1980s film industry is remembered for many things. For one thing, their were great films in all genres like Poltergeist, Dirty Dancing, and Top Gun which instantly became cult favorites in their own way. Many '80s movies set the precedence for what was to come in the modern film industry, but it was also because of what was happening behind the scenes in these classics. 

For instance, in 2022, post-credit scenes in movies are now the norm. Even though this trend, which rewards audiences for watching the credits, began in the late 1960s with movies like The Silencers, post-credit scenes didn’t really take off until the 1980s. We have this generation of filmmakers to thank for all the sequel teasers, outtakes and bonus scenes that film audience has enjoyed over the years.

The Influence Of 1980s Movies

There are 30 movies from the 1980s listed with post-credit scenes compared to just 11 total films in the '60s and '70s combined. The first came in the summer of 1980 with Airplane!, an American parody film that grossed $171 million worldwide against a budget of less than $4 million. The scene at the end of the credits features the grumpy taxicab passenger abandoned at the start of the film. He grunts that he will give the driver a few more minutes, giving the audience one more laugh as they exit the theatre or turn off their television.

Bonus scenes used to reward audiences are also in other classics from this generation including sounds of a facehugger's movements in Aliens, Ferris telling the audience to "go home" in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Skeletor emerging from the water saying "I'll be back!" in Masters of the Universe.

Other great post-credits scenes in '80s films include the advertising executive still examining the Neil's photos over Thanksgiving dinner in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, a killbot rolling toward the camera and telling the audience to "Have a nice day." in Chopping Mall, and the racoons having a conversation about the bear shooting in Great Outdoors.

By the 2010s, the number of movies with post-credit scenes grew to over 100. Some famous examples include Despicable Me, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and The Amazing Spider-Man. When you compare these figures, it's evident movies from the 1980s like Airplane! and Ferris Bueller’s use of post-credit scenes inspired the emerging generation of new directors.

The Use Of Bonuses In Other Entertainment Industries

Post-credit scenes in movies provide an incentive to stay and laugh a little more or preview a sequel as a reward. Incentives and rewards are also two concepts that other entertainment industries understand well, such as the online casino industry. The online casino industry uses various incentives like a $200 no deposit bonus to entice players and experts. This is just one of many casino bonuses that comes in free spins, free bets, or free chip bonuses, but the result is the same. That’s to encourage players to register and use a platform’s services. Likewise, there are also online slot games with bonus symbols on their paytable, which usually means there is a bonus round in the game. If a gambler sees that, they will have the same unexpected reward as someone watching a movie with outtakes of the actors hanging out as its post-credit scene.

Even industries outside of entertainment have incorporated bonuses and promotions to reward their target audiences. For instance, loyalty programs are huge in the eCommerce and retail industries, and like with movies or playing games, knowing that you can collect points after a full day of shopping gives you that incentive to do it. Plus, even when you’re spending money, you’re saving up for a reward.

There might not be a direct correlation between the rise of rewards programs and post-credit scenes in movies from the 1980s. However, the influence the '80s generation of filmmakers on the modern industry and its use of this audience-rewarding technique is still fascinating.

Photos courtesy Depositphotos

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