Syfy's original movie Sharknado may not have taken the world by storm, but it certainly made a splash, especially compared to the channel's normal viewership totals. Thanks to the good-humored folks of the Internet, hype surrounding the movie - about a shark-filled tornado ripping through Los Angeles - spread, propelling the premiere to an astounding 1.4 million viewers last month.
The tentatively-titled Sharknado 2 was immediately put into development as a result, followed by the announcement of a 2014 premiere date. Still, the movie needed a more fitting title, so the network asked fans to submit title ideas on Twitter. Three weeks and more than 5,000 title submissions later and we have a winner: Sharknado 2: The Second One.
Syfy's executive vice president of programming, Thomas Vitale, explained to Entertainment Weekly why the network turned to the fans and why it used Twitter, saying:
“Since Twitter played such a huge role in the success of the original movie, we wanted to use that platform to ask our fans to name 'Sharknado 2.' This response is another reminder of how 'Sharknado' has become a pop culture phenomenon. We want to thank all our viewers for their wonderful contributions to keeping up the shark-mentum.”
While viewers definitely showed plenty of enthusiasm for Sharknado shortly following its TV debut, it's hard to say how much more of this type of B-movie silliness they'll be able to stomach in the long run. Of course, there are plenty of other ridiculously campy and fun shark-related horror movies that air frequently on the channel - Ghost Shark, for example, is premiering August 22nd, 2013 - but none have proven to have the same cultural bite.
Vitale is certainly right about one thing: Twitter and other social media platforms were a large part of why Sharknado hit as hard as it did. With all the jokes and memes circulating the web, viewers with a craving for camp decided they simply couldn't resist seeing the flesh-devouring whirlwind in full force for themselves, but to build a franchise around Sharknado seems as silly as the premise itself.
Then again, maybe Sharknado 2 will end up being bigger, better and even more over the top than its predecessor. One can only hope.
Are you excited for more Sharknado? And what do you think of the title? Let us know in the comments!
Check out Sharknado 2: The Second One when it premieres on Syfy in July of 2014.