Before They Were Box-Office Hits: The Silly Original Names Of Some Of Your Favorite Films

January 29, 2015  |  
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Most of these movie titles were changed for good reason: They sucked.

Here are the original names for some of your favorite films over the years, and why they just didn’t work.

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3000Pretty Woman 

Who would see a movie called 3,000? Seriously? I know everybody loves 300, but basing the title of a movie about a prostitute’s big come-up on the amount of money she was paid to kick it with Richard Gere is just super random. Pretty Woman doesn’t necessarily make sense either (Julia is a cutie though), but after almost 15 years, I’m willing to let it go…

Scream (Dimension Films, 1996)

Scary Movie = Scream 

I get: “Do you like scary movies?” But anytime you basically describe the genre of a movie in its title, you’ve already made it lame with a capital L. Instead, Scary Movie wound up being the perfect title for Keenan Ivory Wayans’ spoofs of the horror genre.

Universal Studios

A Boy’s Life = E.T. the Extra Terrestrial 

I understand that Elliott was very important to the film, but this classic was about E.T. all the way. And considering that we can remember his lines and nothing that Elliott said in the movie, it’s best that they ran with the revamped title.

Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media, 2014)

Blackbird = Beyond The Lights

Honestly, I’m not going to pretend like Beyond The Lights was that much better of a title. I say that because everyone I talked to who didn’t see the movie felt like the name and the trailer made it anything but appealing. However, “Blackbird,” which was the title of the Nina Simone song Noni sang multiple times in the film, probably wouldn’t have been that push people needed either.

Columbia Pictures

The Last First Kiss = Hitch 

The original title reminds me of the name of a very dark drama. Seriously, I read it and thought of The Long Kiss Goodnight. Of course, the revamped title comes from the name of Will Smith’s matchmaking main character, Alex “Hitch” Hitchens.

Paramount

The Tribal Rites Of The New Saturday Night = Saturday Night Fever

No. Just hell to the no.

Child’s Play (United Artists 1988)

Batteries Not Included  = Child’s Play 

Honestly, the original name isn’t that bad. It’s actually pretty clever when you really think about it. But it fits more for a book than for a movie.

Columbia Pictures

The Miltons = White Chicks 

Because the two main characters were supposed to be a spoof of socialites Paris and Nicky Hilton (Brittany and Tiffany Wilson were the characters’ names), the original film was supposed to be called The Miltons, to sound like The Hiltons. While I’m sure white people probably weren’t crazy about the new title, it definitely stood out a lot more.

(Columbia Pictures 2008)

Tonight, He Comes = Hancock

What’s with Will Smith movies having these terrible titles? I can’t really break down for you why the writer went for Tonight, He Comes, but I can tell you that the title was flipped from that into John Hancock, and eventually Hancock, which when compared to the original name, was sooooo much better.

TriStar

Love Hurts = Basic Instinct 

Hell yeah love hurts, especially when people stab with you an ice pick…

Love Hurts was the title of one of Catherine Tramell’s (played by Sharon Stone) books according to the character biography. The novel was inspired by Tramell’s counselor being stabbed to death with an ice pick.

Universal Studios

The Scar = Scarface 

It’s not too far off, I know, but something about The Scar just isn’t right. It’s giving me The Mask feel, which is not what you want when you’re trying put out a crime/gangster film with lines like, “Say hello to my little friend!” But it could be a good spin-off title to a movie about Scar from The Lion King…

Universal Studios

 

The Lunch Bunch = The Breakfast Club 

How classic is the revamped title all these years later? Something about the The Lunch Bunch just sounds goofy, and doesn’t take seriously all the teen angst overflowing in this John Hughes classic.

Miramax

Black Mask = Pulp Fiction 

It’s based on the name of a popular pulp magazine from the ’20s, but it’s not the right fit for what, if you ask me, is arguably Quentin Tarantino’s best film.

Warner Bros.

Wiseguy = Goodfellas 

Wiseguy was the name of the book that inspired the filmand it was actually a really good title for the film. But when it was revealed that there was a show already called “Wiseguy,” that name was given the boot.

20th Century Fox

Star Beast = Alien

Star Beast sounds like the name of a band trying to perform at The Bowery. It was changed when the screenwriter noticed that ‘alien’ was used quite a bit in the script. It was a great move, because Alien is succinct in a way that grabs your attention.

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