Movie theaters are dramatic places. A silent audience may have recovered from a shocking twist or epic ending, but sometimes, the audience just lets rip and gives a round of applause at the movie’s end or even during. A recent online post shares movies that caused this reaction — here are some insights.
1. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
The anchor leg of the LOTR trilogy won all the Academy Awards and closed the book on what was an emotional journey for many moviegoers. “That midnight showing was my favorite theater experience,” writes a fan with fond memories. “Cosplayers, legitimately funny commenters, and a couple of kids sang a song they wrote about LotR while we waited for the projector to get fixed.”
2. Rocky IV (1988)
“A round of applause? That’s nothing,” writes the next commenter, and what a story he has to tell. “Working class town? Height of the Cold War? Rocky taking on the Soviets?” he continues. “It was mayhem.” He describes the final fight scene, where one male viewer stood up in front of him, cheering for Rocky as if at a real fight.
3. Avengers: End Game (2019)
One viewer recalls how when the “Avengers, assemble” moment dropped, “that’s when everybody in the theater I was in went nuts, and I nearly shed a tear.” Can you just imagine how this must have sounded? “It was the most applause I’ve ever heard in a theater,” he adds. I am certain this scenario was replicated throughout movie theaters worldwide.
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
“Not at the end, but when I was watching The Force Awakens with my family, the audience clapped and yelled when Han Solo walked in,” explains the next film lover. I remember the moment well because I was watching this one in China. Even the Chinese audience went ballistic when Han and Chewie returned to the Star Wars universe — that was a special moment. Still, shame about the other Han Solo moment!
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
Those fans who devoured Harry Potter movies for a decade must have enjoyed Bellatrix’s demise. Molly Weasly is not to be messed with! “Most of the audience also cheered when Bellatrix was blown to pieces,” enthuses a Potterhead. Harry Potter fans have such great recollection of this world: “Such a powerful moment that even reading your comment gave me goosebumps,” admits the next thread member.
6. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
It may be an unexpected entry, but Sonic’s transition from a video game to the silver screen was a huge success story. My son (7 at the time) went into fits of hysteria the moment Sonic supercharged into beast mode and sent Robotnik to the Mushroom Planet. However, the secret ending had fans in raptures. “Some Sonic fans got really excited when they saw Tails in the after-credits,” recalls a thread poster. My son concurs.
7. Black Panther (2018)
“I saw Black Panther in Oakland,” says our next observer. “There was applause when the movie started.” After years of waiting, Black Americans finally had their elite superhero, played by the late and great Chadwick Boseman. However, it wasn’t only in Oakland where people celebrated. “Came here to say this. I saw it at Grand Lake,” adds another fan.
8. Independence Day (1996)
Nothing gets American fists pumping more than a good, old-fashioned dust-em-up with a belligerent alien force, and Independence Day is a ridiculously fun movie. “Yep — standing ovation with cheers and whoops in my little hometown,” confirms one poster. I love that famous Will Smith line after he knocks out an alien fighter pilot: “Welcome to Earth!” I am sure Chris Rock may have remembered it briefly himself!
9. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan’s themes of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice were emotional for the many veterans still alive to see it. “I feel it wouldn’t have been the same if the veterans weren’t there,” writes a commenter who saw it in the theater with a row of World War II veterans behind him. “When it showed the flag at the end, they all stood up and saluted. Many of them were crying.”
10. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018)
The excellent animated movie series has won many plaudits for its slick artwork and plot treatment; diehard fans approved. “I actually heard some applause when those glasses of Stan Lee appeared during the credits as a tribute,” a Spiderman fan remarks. With the film’s release so close to the great Marvel founder’s passing, it was a poignant touch to a brilliant first installment.
11. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Quentin Tarantino’s homage to European cinema and World War II is like watching a kid in a candy shop. The gratuitous violence is so cathartic that some of its older viewers couldn’t contain themselves. “I read somewhere that a dude took his veteran grandpa to see that movie,” explains a contributor. “The grandfather screamed ‘Hallelujah!’ at the end. Tarantino would be so proud.
12. Bohemian Rhapsody.
“It wasn’t even opening night, but there were a lot of people in the audience who were teens or young adults during Queen’s heyday,” says the next commenter. “Lots of crying.” Queen is an acquired taste: I know people who love or hate the British band equally. However, there is no denying that Freddie Mercury was a genius. Moreover, the singer was adored by his fans.
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