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Source: Warner Bros. Television

13 Times Test Audiences Almost Ruined Your Fave Films and TV Shows


Before a movie or show hits theaters or networks, they're screened to a test audience or focus group first. After all, if a studio invested millions into a movie, they want to make sure the movie is good before they release it to the general public. Some test audiences have even saved some movies from imminent failure by suggesting better endings and reasonable edits. 

But not all test screenings have good outcomes, especially for movies or shows that are edgy, offbeat, or a little quirky. Test audiences prefer the status quo, and so when something like Seven or even Seinfeld comes across their plate, test audiences don't know what to do but try to ruin things by cutting out important scenes and choosing crappier endings. Here are a few cases of when test audiences totally got it wrong. (Warning: This post contains spoilers!)

1. 'Dirty Dancing'

Source: Vestron Pictures

No one was more surprised about the success of Dirty Dancing than the cast itself. The movie scored so badly with test audiences, the studio was thinking of releasing it straight to video. Test audiences found the sexually suggestive dancing "uncomfortable" and didn't like the abortion subplot either. Writer Eleanor Bergstein refused to edit the film and the movie was released anyway. Although the studio was certain the movie would be a flop, the film was a runaway success.