“Brokeback Mountain” (and more), and Why Audiences Matter by Eugene Hernandez (November 17, 2005)

Prior to the release of Joe Wright’s “Pride & Prejudice” in the U.K. two months ago, the film’s producers, Working Title, decided to shorten the original romantic ending of the movie, apparently feeling it was a bit too sappy for British audiences. Focus Features on the other hand, which opened the movie over the weekend in the U.S., kept Wright’s original ending, releasing a different, slightly longer version of the film in this country. In a statement to indieWIRE Wednesday, a Focus spokesperson explained that in the U.K., “audiences prefer a less overtly romantic wrap-up, so the filmmakers had prepared the movie accordingly.” Standing by their decision to release the film with the more romantic coda Stateside, the Focus spokesperson added, “What’s most gratifying is that, wherever in the world ‘Pride & Prejudice’ is being shown, critics and moviegoers are enjoying this classic love story.” Such decisions, reiterating how audience reactions are anticipated and accommodated ahead of major film releases, are increasingly commonplace in Indiewood, as a panel of insiders discussed Monday night at a New York Women in Film and Television seminar.

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