Sharknado 2: B-movie with bite

Sharknado 2: B-movie with bite
Social media sizzles as 'Sharknado 2' audience grows.

What gives this shark movie teeth is not incisive dialogue or biting wit - its incisors are shaped by posts and sharpened by tweets. Sharknado 2 chomped its way to top ratings in the US, reeling in 3.9 million viewers, the Syfy channel said yesterday, one day after the broadcast.

The follow-up to last year's instant cult classic about a freak weather system that rains a torrent of man-eating sharks on New York City was a massive hit on social media, at one point dominating the entire top-10 trending list on Twitter, Syfy said. The estimated Twitter impressions are said to be a billion.

Beat game of thrones

Sharknado 2 is the most social movie on TV ever, and was more social than any episode of hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones, or reality shows The Bachelorette or Survivor, it added in a statement.

The Nielsen ratings service put the number of Sharknado 2 tweets at 581,000 - way ahead of America's Got Talent, the summer's most popular TV series among Americans, with 59,000, reported AFP.

The social media reaction to the movie was itself a form of entertainment, drawing howls of laughter.

@BethanyWatson tweeted: "Can someone tell me the brand of lipstick @TaraReid is wearing? It's withstood SO MUCH. #sharknado2" She is right. Reid withstood the loss of her severed hand by replacing it with a spinning saw blade.

Another fan, @kmart93 said: "I would watch the Weather Channel a lot more if it involved shark winds. The movie featured a host of cameos, clearly demonstrating that they know a good thing to hitch their wagon to."

TV host Kelly Osbourne got her head chomped off by a flying shark in the plane. Notable Today Show hosts Matt Lauer and Al Roker killed a shark on air.

Taxi actor Judd Hirsch played a taxi driver.

The original Sharknado, set in Los Angeles, drew 1.4 million viewers and prompted 318,000 tweets, key numbers in an era when social media engagement is as important to TV executives as eyeballs glued to the screen.

An unabashed homage to the B-movies of Hollywood's Golden Age, Sharknado 2 starred Beverly Hills 90210 alum Ian Ziering and Reid from the American Pie films.

Syfy, a unit of NBC Universal, has commissioned a third movie in the franchise, said showbiz trade journal Variety.

This article was first published on August 2, 2014.
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