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The 'Rocky' Series Was More Intense Behind The Scenes Than A Swift Punch To The Jaw

Updated January 10, 2020 756.6k views18 items

Few cinematic heroes truly capture the essence of being an underdog like Rocky. Want proof? In the first Rocky film, the titular hero doesn't even win. He secures a moral victory by hanging on against a much stronger opponent, and it's hard not to root for the Italian Stallion. He never had a real chance of knocking Apollo Creed out cold, but audiences identified with Rocky, and Hollywood will undoubtedly continue to make Rocky films long after Sylvester Stallone's retirement.

These behind-the-scenes secrets are as engaging as the franchise itself. Just like Rocky, Stallone and his script were major underdogs. But thanks to a lot of work, and a lot of punching, Stallone was able to rise above and make his dream film.

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  • The Producers Offered Free Chicken To Anybody Who Came To The Final Fight

    Rocky's budget wasn't high, so sometimes the film's producers had to get creative. They didn't have money to hire a bunch of extras, so instead they put out an advertisement for a free chicken dinner to anybody willing to be in the crowd during the final fight.

    The gamble worked out. In the end, 4,000 people showed up to get free chicken, watch a fake boxing match, and help create cinematic history.

  • The Original Ending Had Rocky Throw The Fight And Open Up A Pet Store

    If the studio had kept Sylvester Stallone's original script, there probably wouldn't have been another Rocky movie - not because that script was terrible, but because Rocky would have retired from boxing at the end of the film. Not only does he lose the fight like in the final script, but Rocky also throws it on purpose so he can make extra cash.

    Why does he intentionally lose? So he can pay to open up a pet store for Adrian. Not exactly the most thrilling end to a dramatic boxing film.

  • That Training Run In 'Rocky II' Would Have Been More Than 30 Miles

    The training montage is one of the most memorable parts of any Rocky movie. They tend to feature the best songs, and they almost convince viewers to get off the couch themselves.

    The running sequence in Rocky II specifically stands out as one of the greatest. Rocky runs through the streets of Philadelphia, eliciting cheers from onlookers and even inspiring kids to run alongside him.

    Astute journalists noticed that for Rocky to run past all the landmarks in the montage, he would need to jog more than 30 miles. That's right, a single day of training for Rocky apparently means running a marathon with an extra 4 miles thrown in as a cool-down.

  • 'Rocky' Was Made For Under $1 Million, But Grossed $225 Million

    Most successful movies these days require a massive upfront cost to make. For example, the average Marvel film costs just under $200 million per film. Rocky's budget was less than $1 million total.

    That's why it was so surprising to see the movie gross over $225 million from just the box office alone. Audiences didn't care that the film didn't look as sharp as some others at the time; they were inspired by the story and told all their friends about the exciting movie.