Steven Sorensen

The art of post-credits scenes

People know better now than to leave the theater without waiting for an extra scene that may or may not appear during or after the credits have rolled. And we have the Marvel superhero movies to thank for that.

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Back in 2008, the short post-credits clip that concluded the “Iron Man” film showed Nick Fury, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, approach Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and introduce to him a government program called “The Avengers Initiative.” While Marvel Studios is far from the first production company to use a post-credits scene, its clever use of the gimmick launched the beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Before present blockbusters used post-credits scenes to advance stories or hype sequels or spinoffs further, post-credits scenes were typically one-offs and were used just to garner a few more laughs. It is best represented by “The Muppet Movie” in 1979, when the Muppet, Animal, broke the fourth wall after the credits and shouts to the audience to “Go home!” The film is widely credited as the movie that started the post-credits craze of the 1980s and 1990s.

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None of these scenes, however, are as memorable and as significant as the ones Marvel Studios has bombarded us with. They have made post-credits scenes a part of the modern moviegoing experience.

Hi, there! I am Steven Sorensen, a filmmaker and photographer based in Manhattan, New York. I am also a huge fan of superhero films, particularly the ones produced by Marvel Studios. For more of my insights, connect with me on Facebook.


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