The movie "Paranormal Activity" (2007) had a budget of only $15,000 but made $194 million. During the screening, when people were walking out, one studio executive thought the film was bombing. They later learned that the viewers were actually leaving because they were too frightened.
2. The famous line from the film Captain Phillips "Look at me. I’m the captain now” was improvised by actor Barkhad Abdi who had no prior acting experience.
3. Test audiences hated 'Dirty Dancing' and the producer was so disappointed in the final product he said "Burn the negative, and collect the insurance." Expected to be a box office bomb, instead was a smash hit, was the #1 video rental of 1988, and was the first film to sell a million copies on video.
4. Donnie Darko was filmed in 28 days which, coincidentally, virtually matches the time that transpired in the film. The movie took place between October 2nd, 1988 to the weekend party scene before Halloween on October 31st, 1988.
5. There were 4 dogs used in the film “Cujo” (1983) and they all had to have their tails tied down by fishing wire to make them appear menacing because they were all wagging their tails the entire time.
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Room of Forgotten Souls
The budget for the original 1978 film Halloween was so small that the actor playing Michael Myers was paid $20 per day and the original Michael Myers mask was purchased at a local costume shop for $1.29. The film grossed $47 million.
7. In Billy Madison, Sandler shot the infamous dodgeball scene using a real ball. He threw the balls as hard as he could at the kids. They cut the scene after each kid was hit so we wouldn’t see them crying.
8. The head-in-the-box ending of "Se7en" was originally rejected by the studio, but David Fincher was accidentally sent the original screenplay with that ending, convincing him to make the movie. The producer still objected to it, but Brad Pitt refused to act in the film unless the scene was kept.
9. After a screening of the film The Elephant Man, studio executives recommended the surreal scenes be cut. Producer Mel Brooks responded: "We screened the film to bring you up to date as to the status of that venture. Do not misconstrue this as our soliciting the input of raging primitives."
10. The scene in Fight Club where Tyler is explaining the cost of a recall when "A car built by my company crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside" is based on actual leaked memos from GM and Ford.
11The Princess Bride
During the filming of 'The Princess Bride', the actor playing Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) inadvertently knocked Cary Elwes out when he tapped him on the head too hard with the butt of his sword. The scene of Westley falling to the ground unconscious is real.
12. The name of the movie “Moana” was changed to “Oceania” in Italy because there was a porn star named Moana already in Italy.
13. The name of the movie "Death Wish III" was changed to "Death Wish 3" because the Cannon Group conducted a survey and found that nearly half of the U.S. population could not read Roman numerals
14. The parade scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off was shot during the actual parade and nobody knew what it was, including all the people on the reviewing stand, including the governor.
15. After screening the 1985 John Hughes film, The Breakfast Club, for the first time, studio executives stood up without saying a word. When the producer finally spoke, he said "It's a piece of sh*t. It's horrible. It's just a bunch of kids in school talking."
Since the studio didn’t have enough budget to shoot Riddick (2013), Vin Diesel had to mortgage his house, obtain loans, and spend most of his own money on the production.
17. While filming 'Das Boot', an actor fell overboard and broke a few ribs. Someone shouted, "Man overboard!" The director didn’t realize it was an accident and yelled, "Good idea, Jan." He still kept the scene and rewrote the actor’s part so his character spent the rest of the movie in bed.
18. The voice of Boo from Monsters, Inc., Mary Gibbs, was just a toddler during production. The crew couldn’t get her to sit still and read her lines, so they had her play in the studio while following her around with a mic.
19. While shooting Resident Evil 5 there was an accident on set that injured 16 people. First responders to the scene thought there was a catastrophe and had trouble assessing the injuries due to the victims' zombie costumes.
20. It's impossible to die of skin suffocation. The filmmakers of the James Bond films believed it was a real risk. For Goldfinger, which features a scene of someone dying of skin suffocation due to being painted gold, they had a physician present and cleaned the person as quickly as possible.
John Williams, the legendary film composer (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) had problems with the musical timings in E.T.’s BMX chase scene. Steven Spielberg told him to record the music just as he wanted. He then edited the chase sequence around Willams’s Oscar-winning soundtrack.
22. For the interrogation scene in the movie "Safe House", Denzel Washington volunteered to actually be waterboarded, albeit for a few seconds at a time. Co-star Ryan Reynolds called it "one of the most disturbing thing I've ever seen."
23. In one scene in Swingers (1996), sirens can be heard in the distance from the state troopers arriving to shut down filming, as the crew did not have a permit to shoot.
24. “The Princess Bride” director Rob Reiner had the screenplay writer change the last scene from the fairytale characters riding off happily ever after to the grandfather and grandson coming together through the experience of reading the story.
25. The scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day where a helicopter flies under an overpass was not CGI. The stunt was performed by helicopter pilot Chuck Tamburro. The stunt was so dangerous that the film crew refused to film it, so James Cameron had to film the sequence himself.