"That's some bad hat, Harry."
Anyone who half-ironically tuned into the Syfy original movie/meme-generator "Sharknado," we're blaming you. Thanks to the shocking success of grade-Z creature feature "Sharknado," we're now perched on the toothy edge of a "ridiculous shark movie" boom, one that could gobble up Hollywood whole. Because, as we've learned from "The Social Network," the only thing cooler than a million shark movies is a billion shark movies.
According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Syfy is planning a string of new shark-related movies, and on July 27 will have an all-day Sharkathon that includes a repeat of "Sharknado" (its third airing on the network), Roger Corman's moderately funnier and better produced "Sharktopus," "Swamp Shark," and "2-Headed Shark Attack" (a movie that came on right after the initial "Sharknado" airing).
In August, the channel will premiere "Ghost Shark," from the humanitarians that brought us "Swamp Shark," which is apparently about the specter of a shark that can hunt "anywhere there is enough water or rain to sustain its phantom form." (Shouldn't it just be able to go anywhere? It's a ghost! And a shark!)
"There has been a surge in shark movies -- the concepts are getting more outrageous, and 'Sharknado' is the pinnacle," Paul Bales, partner for administration and operations at The Asylum, the Burbank-based studio behind "Sharknado," told The Hollywood Reporter. He continued: "I don't know if ['Jaws' director] Steven Spielberg would agree, but we started the shark movie trend with 2009's 'Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus,' which gave Syfy courage to up the ante on sharks."
The Hollywood Reporter points to the popularity of the Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week programming block, which generated 21.4 million viewers in 2012 (up sharply from the previous year's numbers). The next Shark Week starts August 4 and will hopefully unleash a new installment in the "Air Jaws" series and tons of things that have cheesy reenactments of people getting chomped on.
There will be a sequel to the campy shark-tornado hybrid movie, obviously, and there is an MTV pilot in development from the folks at The Asylum. "It's at the script stage. It is horror but with comedy elements and the expected outrageousness of an Asylum production," Bales told The Hollywood Reporter. "Teen Wolf," you're about to have some competition.
While "Sharknado" isn't exactly a phenomenon from a ratings standpoint (its two airings brought in 1.37 and 1.9 million viewers), its foreign sales and home video deals mean a boom for The Asylum, which is expected to earn $19 million this year, up from 2009's $5 million. Not too shabby for a movie that is arguably not even worthy of a so-bad-it's-good qualifier.
As a bonus, "Sharknado" is storming into Regal Cinema theaters for a one-night-only midnight showing on August 2.