I’ve been reflecting on alternate endings lately. You know, where directors include one or more different endings to a movie in the Blu-Ray or DVD pack. Now, to be fair, I have never actually seen an alternate ending for a movie. Nonetheless, the concept doesn’t make intuitive sense to me. The point is to provide extra material for the viewer. I understand that, and as a lover of movies, I even appreciate it to some degree. Special features can be a lot of fun.
However, as a writer, the whole idea of alternate endings is really wrong. The alternate ending should be entertaining, make sense, and feel like a real ending. But it can’t be better than the real ending. After all, we would then feel cheated, right? A story’s ending should be the best that it can possibly be. Therefore, alternate endings shouldn’t be able to measure up to the real thing, and they would therefore be rather pointless. If they are good, they breed discontent with the actual movie; if they’re not good, they’re each a waste of time that leaves you feeling unsatisfied.
So, in my opinion, alternate endings are yet another marketing gimmick that serve absolutely no truly helpful purpose.