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Sharknado is a 2013 direct-to-TV disaster film about a tornado that lifts sharks out of the ocean and drops them in the city of Los Angeles. Largely due to its bizarre premise and B-movie appeal, the film drew heavy discussions in the social media upon its airing on the SyFy channel in July 2013.
In March 2013, film news site DeadCentral reported that American film director Thunder Levin will take on two new projects for The Asylum, a direct-to-video film studio best known for its low-budget mockbusters, AE: Apocalypse Earth and Sharknado_. By April, the cast of the film had been officially announced, with Tara Reid (American Pie_), Ian Ziering (_Beverly Hills 90210) and John Heard, (C.H.U) taking on the lead roles, and in May, several entertainment news sites took note of the film after a promotional poster was revealed at the 2013 Cannes film festival.
On July 10th, The Machinima YouTube channel released an exclusive trailer for the film (shown below), which gained more than 765,000 views within first 48 hours. On July 11th, at 9 pm (ET). Sharknado premiered on the SyFy channel.
The film was met by sensational responses and intensive discussions in the social media, most notably on Twitter where mentions of Sharknado reached 5,000 tweets per minute at its peak. According to Nielsen, the premiere of the film was watched by 1.37 million viewers, slightly below the average audience of 1.5 million viewers for a typical SyFy feature film.
Entertainment Weekly – ‘Sharknado’ stirs up the perfect storm of online buzz
The Atlantic – Sorry, Twitter: ‘Sharknado’ Was an Enormous Ratings Bust