Renames result when advance movie materials are released
under one name, and the movie's title is later changed. The films then
can be known under either name, or may carry the notation a/k/a.
Movie titles are subject to change due to a number
of circumstances. For example, films are given working titles and, in
some cases, early promotional materials are released with that name. When
a subsequent change in the name is made, studios attempt to recover the
old materials and replace them with new ones.
Renames occur for a number of reasons. For example,
when a movie is a commercial failure at the box office and is taken off
the market, the movie studio may reissue/rerelease it years later under
a new title In another example, a film that certain stars made when they
were unknown are later reissued/rereleased under a new title to capitalize
on their new found fame. Another scenario involves titles of American
made films that are changed when they are marketed in foreign countries.
In any of these cases, the movies can become known by either or both of
their titles, and will sometimes carry the notation "a/k/a."
Depending on the circumstances, some
renames can become very desirable. This is particularly true when studios
release advance advertising materials for popular movies, and then later
change the name of the film before it is released. This happened with the
sequel to Star Wars. Advance advertising materials were issued to
the theatres and theatre exchanges under the title Revenge of the Jedi.
However, before the movie was released to the market, the title was changed
to Return of the Jedi. Although the studio attempted to recover all
of the materials with the wrong title, a number of them remained on the
market. Because there were so few left to collectors, they became extremely
sought-after. The popularity of this particular rename was such that a number
of fakes also made it to the market.