News Column

"Sharknado" leaps into theaters

August 1, 2013


Aug. 01--Mal Vincent won't be reviewing "Sharknado."

Think about that for a moment.

The Pilot's film critic won't be offering his views on the most-tweeted-about TV movie of the summer.

That's right. "Sharknado" is making the rare leap from pay-scale cable TV to the big screens with a special midnight screening this Friday in select theaters across the country.

In Hampton Roads, you can catch the movie that is, literally, about a shark-infested tornado at Regal MacArthur Cinemas in Norfolk's MacArthur Center.

The idea of an intentionally bad TV movie graduating to movie cineplexes might feel as ridiculous as scenes of sharks biting people's arms off as these fish fall from the sky.

It is. But "Sharknado" is one of the more unusual pop-culture phenoms of the past few years. Somehow, this TV movie has become more popular after its initial release -- in a way not seen since, perhaps, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Check out the numbers.

The film's debut airing on SyFy on July 11 drew 1.4 million viewers and inspired 5,000 #sharknado tweets a minute at one point during the screening.

The audience for the encore SyFy airing grew to 1.9 million. A third airing, this past Saturday night, attracted 2.1 million viewers.

The "Sharknado" is growing. Which suggests Friday's screening at Regal MacArthur will be a sell-out.

At any rate, Mal won't be reviewing "Sharknado," though we did discuss the possibility. If this growing popularity continues, however, he'll probably be writing about "Sharknado 2," due next year, as if it's the next summer blockbuster.

That would be pretty cool.


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