Though he’s no stranger to violence and gore, it was recently revealed that the late, great horror filmmaker Wes Craven walked out of a screening of Reservoir Dogs during one of its earliest screenings. Tarantino noted that the Scream director couldn’t stomach the classic torture scene when Mr. Blonde tortures police officer Marvin Nash. If it wasn’t at the Sitges Film Festival, it’s a wonder if Craven would have demanded a refund.
Moviegoers have often walked out of screenings demanding refunds, whether it’s two minutes into the film or after the credits have rolled, and Redditors, many of which a movie theatre employees, have been quick to detail their own experiences. Between a beloved Adam Sandler, a raunchy stripper drama, and DC’s crown jewel, these movies left audiences feeling out of pocket.
10/10 Joker (2019)
Alexfromjupiter works at a cinema and recalls the most walk-outs and refund demands they ever saw was for the standalone DC movie Joker. The movie theatre employee comments, “had a lot of people asking for refunds for Joker, and a fair amount of angry parents who thought it was just gonna be a Batman movie for their 7-year-old.”
The trailer alone would give away the fact that Joker is very much a mature film. However, in fairness, the recently released The Batman is rated PG-13, and it absolutely pushes the limits of the rating, as it even opens with the mayor being killed by blunt force trauma. With the upcoming Joker 2 being a “musical,” there’ll undoubtedly be more refund demands following the sequel’s release, but whether for violence or poor song choice remains to be seen.
9/10 Hustlers (2019)
CortezEspartaco2 is another Redditor who works at a movie theatre, and they quickly refer to the movie that had countless guests demanding refunds. The Redditor mentions Hustlers, a crime movie about a group of strippers who rob rich clients, which was brilliantly shot, engaging, and full of great performances from an all-star cast.
The user explains, “Every damn set there would be middle-aged guests and seniors coming out 30 minutes in because they couldn’t handle it. I don’t know what kind of advertising they did for that movie but it must have been misleading.” The trailer for the movie made it very clear that the 2019 release was a raunchy crime drama, but it might have underplayed just how raunchy it was.
8/10 Sausage Party (2016)
Sausage Party has an outrageous ending, with all the different foods in the grocery store take part in one giant sexual congress. But most didn’t make it that far as the movie is bookended with two shocking scenes; so it only took a couple of minutes before viewers started demanding refunds. Ashley52958 notes that tons of families mistakenly took their kids to see the R-rated animated film.
The Redditor mentions, “So many people didn’t care to see what type of animated film they were bringing their kids/grandkids to.” The movie opens with a Saving Private Ryan parody, as it isn’t long before most of the foods are absolutely massacred. The innuendo title must have gone over some parents’ heads.
7/10 Mother! (2017)
Coming from the mind of Darren Aronofsky, who is known for his psychological and morbid dramas, it’s no wonder that Mother! is just intense and exhausting, but general audiences weren’t quite as clued-up or prepared. Jaclynmendoza remembers when tons of guests in the theater they worked at demanded refunds for their tickets to the psychological horror, and it was after seeing one key scene.
The Redditor comments, “The eating the baby scene towards the end, but by then you’ve sat through the majority of the movie, you should have known what you were getting into.” The whole movie is generally off-putting and intentionally unpleasant, and while that scene is the vilest, it isn’t exactly out of place.
6/10 Once Upon A Deadpool (2018)
Once Upon a Deadpool is essentially Deadpool 2, only it’s a PG-13 version with all the dirty jokes dubbed with less vulgar ones and all the graphic violence edited out. It was a genius idea by the studio, as it added a few more million dollars to the movie’s overall box office gross and allowed it to be shown to a wider audience. However, some of that was deducted due to confused viewers demanding refunds.
Theatre employee CinemaMania notes, Once Upon A Deadpool easily had the most refund requests, apparently, no one reads the description or stops to think that it is odd there is another Deadpool movie just a few months after Deadpool 2. However, in fairness, a lot of the movie’s posters didn’t point to the fact that it was an edited version of the 2018 movie.
5/10 Uncut Gems (2019)
There are examples of Sandler playing dramatic roles in his filmography, but they’re few and far between, such as Funny People and Punch-Drunk Love, but even then, there’s still a lot of humor peppered throughout those releases. Uncut Gems, on the other hand, is not only not remotely funny, but it’s the most anxiety-inducing movie made in the past few years. Nevertheless, it’s proof that Sandler should play more villainous roles.
4/10 Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
There’s no denying that both films in the Amazing Spider-Man series were totally unlike what their trailers hinted at. They’re some of the most misleading trailers ever made, as the trailer for the first movie featured entire scenes in some kind of library with Peter Parker and Dr. Connors, and those are completely absent from the 2012 film.
But The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the worst culprit, as it featured the shot of Gustav Fiers walking passed Vulture’s wings and Doctor Octopus’ arms, teasing the supervillain team Sinister Six. This is a bad habit that Sony can’t get out of, as Morbius‘ trailer even featured the post-credits scene.
3/10 Cats (2019)
Cats is one of the most notorious box office bombs of all time, as it was being marketed as the must-watch Christmas movie of the year and promised to be a major awards contender, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Jaclynmendoza notes that every screening of the film at the theater they work at had several walk-outs.
The Redditor notes, “Without fail, about 20-30 minutes into Cats we’d get a trickle of people coming out telling us “this is awful, can we get a refund or switch movies?” It is almost impossible for any viewer to look past the creepy anthropomorphic CGI models of the cats, and the studio should have taken a page from Sonic the Hedgehog’s book by changing it after the negative response to the trailer.
2/10 Princess Mononoke (1997)
Having previously worked at a movie theatre, IgnoreMe733 recalls one of their most stressful days that led to not just one person demanding a refund but several families. The Redditor explains that a screening of Princess Mononoke led to tons of angry parents demanding refunds, noting, “We had signs on our front doors and by all the registers letting people know that, despite it being an animated movie, it was PG‐13 and had very graphic violence.”
Even Studio Ghibli’s more child-friendly films like Spirited Away have very mature themes, but there’s no denying that Mononoke even pushes the limits of PG-13. The very opening action sequence is full of warriors getting shot with arrows, and there are even a couple of beheadings.
1/10 Funny People (2009)
Janktasticle notes that they have only ever demanded a refund at a movie theatre once, which was after seeing the Judd Apatow-directed comedy Funny People. The Redditor recalls, “Worst movie I have ever endured.”
The general rule of thumb at movie theatres is that a guest can be refunded if the movie isn’t for them after watching 10-15 minutes, but it seems as if the Redditor demanded a refund after watching the whole film. If guests demanded refunds every time they didn’t like a movie they paid to see, that’d be a cinema’s nightmare, and most movie theatres would have gone bust after the release of Morbius.