Study Guide

Beetlejuice What's Up With the Ending?

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What's Up With the Ending?

Beetlejuice has a pretty upbeat ending, considering the protagonists are dead.

Lydia has just scored an A on the math test and the Maitlands and Deetzes are living happily together in their newly restored New England cottage. What more could there be to say?

Time to shake it, Senora.

Maybe we should just check in and see what Betelgeuse is doing real quick.

Turns out, after that run in with the sandworm, the Ghost with the Most is hanging out in the afterlife waiting room covered in dust and debris. He's also not well liked by the other dead people… and he's gonna be there a really long time. Unless he can figure out how to switch numbers with the witch doctor next to him:

BEETLEJUICE: Pardon me. Did you do that? Very nice work. Let me ask you something? How do you get them down so small— Hey, there goes Elvis! Yo, King! Well, looks like I'm next. Good thing, too. I've gotta do a photo shoot for GQ in about an hour and a half. They've been after me for months. Doing some kind of underwear deal, I don't know what— Hey, what are you doing? Stop it. You're messing up my hair. Come on! Whoa! Whoa! Stop it! Whoa! Hey, this might be a good look for me.

Betelgeuse gets one final comeuppance in this scene. But why? He'd already been swallowed by a sandworm. Did we really need to see his head shrink, too?

The answer, like the answer to many media things we don't understand, lies in focus groups.

Turns out that when they saw the movie, focus groups didn't think there was enough Betelgeuse in it. The movie is called Beetlejuice and the guy only shows up in a few scenes. After getting feedback from the test audiences, the filmmakers went back and filmed this new ending that gave Keaton another great scene.

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