Usually a bad movie comes out in the theaters and is turned into a cult classic on video, but for the first time a straight-to-DVD movie is getting released in the theaters. "Sharknado" will be shown at 12:05 a.m. Saturday, August 3rd at 200 theaters across the country. I LOVED Sharknado, so I'm probably not alone in getting excited about the concept, but is it worth the money?
Sharknado got a ton of free promotion thanks to Twitter. Sharknado was a viral hit on Twitter when it first aired, generating nearly 5,000 tweets per minute with the hashtag #Sharnado at its peak. but none of that free publicity translated into viewers.
Advanced tickets are available for $12.50 each. I would pay $6, but I can't imagine paying more than that. That's high considering the original showing was free to paid cable subscribers. Even for that price only 1.37 million viewers saw the original airing on July 11. Its July 18 retelecast drew a paltry 1.9 million viewers.
The theater showing of this "made-for-TV guilty pleasure," will treat audiences to never-before-seen footage including a behind-the-scenes featurette and a gag reel. I've seen behind-the-scenes featurettes from The Asylum and, if their any indication, will be pretty sad. Most of the time they whine and complain about how hard it is to film a helicopter on the ground and using orange crates to make futuristic backgrounds. As for a gag reel, I can't imagine anything funnier than what made it onto the screen.
The closest theater to me is over a half-hour away. Driving that far in the middle of the night isn't my idea of fun for a couple of laughs.
What is Sharknado?Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante and written by Thunder Levin, the movie "stars" Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, John Heard, Cassie Scerbo and Jaason Simmons. The official description for Sharnado is "Produced by The Asylum, “Sharknado” is the story of beachside bar regulars including owner Fin (Ian Ziering, "Beverly Hills 90210"), bartender Nova (Cassie Scerbo, "Make It Or Break It") and local drunk George (John Heard, "Home Alone") as they team up with Fin’s ex-wife April (Tara Reid, "Scrubs") to investigate the ecological nightmare that has sharks swimming through the streets of Los Angeles and falling from the skies." The tagline is "Sharknado. Enough said!"
The home video of Sharknado is available for preorder before it's September 3rd release date.
The tentatively titled "Sharknado 2" film is due in July 2014 on SyFy. Asylum has never made a theatrically released film, but if the original's midnight showing does well at the box office, the sequel could get a big screen release too.
The theater owners think this film is poised to be a breakout hit though.
"You know how audiences have had fun with 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' over the years. If the internet reactions to this film are any indication, then our moviegoers are primed and ready to enjoy 'Sharknado' larger than life in cinemas," Regal Entertainment Group's Chris Sylvia said in a statement. "Regal is proud to be giving our guests this chance to fuel the social media whirlwind by inviting friends to come to the show and tweeting reactions."
"'Sharknado' has become a force of nature in its own right. This project transcends the original television platform and has created tremendous buzz," stated Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer for Regal Entertainment Group. "There's just something epic about watching these huge beasts on the big screen with your friends and family. The crowd reactions will make for a memorable experience in our theatres."
What is Asylum Films?
The guys behind Asylum Films have no delusions of grandeur. "It's like any other marketplace," says Paul Bales, a partner at The Asylum, the production company behind Sharknado, "instead of selling vegetables it's selling crappy films."
"They give you a title, a poster, a cast, and a formula, and then we shoot it in 12 days. We go from the idea of the movie to release date in less than two months!" said Jack Perez, director of Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.
Bales says. "I think the best movies are the ones where you know the plot based on title alone."
Besides making goofy titled shark films, they also make knock-offs of popular movies. For example, Atlantic Rim, a takeoff of Pacific Rim, has an intentionally similar premise. "When giant monsters crawl out of the Atlantic Ocean and attack the Eastern Seaboard, the U.S. government is forced to trust A.I. robots to defend the country."
Bales is also Asylum's director of operations, and says, "Ninety-nine percent of our movies are well under a million dollars," and most of the cost is in talent, like Tara Reid, and CGI. The $200,000 range is for "sexy comedies and horror films." Found footage horror films are the last category and come in "well under $100,000." If Bales had his way, they'd do far more sexy comedies and horror films. They cost so little and sell so well.
Asylum Films averages two releases a month, and they usually finish production in three weeks. "We don't make a movie unless we know where we're going to sell it," Bales says. "So we don't even start to film until we have a good idea of getting money back. When an idea comes from one of our buyers, we have a good sense of things."
Will the theatrical release be successful? I doubt it. When it came on TV, nobody watched it, when it gets released into theaters most people will have to go out of their way for theaters and it's playing at midnight.
Tickets are available from Fathom Events and you can get a list of theaters at Regency Cinemas website. Learn more about Asylum Films at www.theasylum.cc.
Would you got the theater to watch Sharknado? Do you like bad movies?
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