Sometimes it just feels like a character is dead meat from the moment we first meet them, that for one reason or another, there's no freakin' way they're making it to the end of the movie with their heart still beating.
But filmmakers love to toy with audiences and gleefully subvert expectations, and that's absolutely what happened with these 10 characters who everybody fully expected to perish.
From villains you loved to hate and couldn't wait to see die, to tragic heroes destined to kick the bucket, these characters all seemed like dead-cert casualties in their respective movies - an expectation often encouraged by the marketing.
But in the final film, they made it to the end of the story in tact - more or less, at least. Despite it seeming the like the most natural thing in the world for them to die, this lot lived to fight another day, even if survival perhaps came with some life-changing circumstances all the same.
The lesson here? There's such a thing as a character being so obviously dead that it becomes the boring, unsatisfying choice...
10. Cal Hockley - Titanic
Has anybody in the history of cinema been more obviously teed up for a brutal third act demise than Titanic's cartoonishly awful Cal Hockley (Billy Zane)?
A walking, talking Disney Villain if there ever was one, Cal treats his fiancee Rose (Kate Winslet) more like property than a human being while sneering down at anybody "below" him - namely Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) - like there's money to be made doing so.
Cal's possessiveness of Rose grows increasingly twisted and violent throughout the film, such that it seems a given we'll get to see him die horribly when the Titanic sinks.
But James Cameron opts for a more realistic outcome - Cal manages to worm his way onto a lifeboat by posing as a lost child's father, and the last time we see him on screen, he's comfortably onboard the rescue vessel RMS Carpathia, where he searches for Rose.
Now to be completely fair, Rose's modern day voiceover does reveal that Cal committed suicide almost 20 years later after losing his fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, but for him to live almost two decades longer than poor Jack is all the proof you need that life just ain't fair.