Could Monster Movies Be Good For Sharks?

Image by Finlay Mackay

Image by Finlay Mackay

The shark has become one of Hollywood’s most common animal villains.

All it takes is an image of a fin slicing through the water, or a scary soundtrack that reminds us of the ‘Jaws’ theme, and the scene is set for imaginary carnage. It is one of our most deep-seated, stone age instincts to fear animals that can eat us. Especially those that live in the deep and in the dark unknown. Not to mention those that have impressive teeth. Sharks hit all of those triggers. Their fear factor is so effective that even their implied presence makes people afraid.

Shark films run the gamut from cringe worthy films depicting shark attack scenarios, to campy, over the top spectacles where sharks wreak havoc in the craziest ways imaginable. We almost prefer the later, since few people will actually believe a Megalodon will come around to swallow your boat or that tornados filled with sharks are a scenario we should fear.  

Could sharks benefit from their star power?

We think they could. Yes, the image that has been created is often detrimental to sharks. But people are becoming more aware of what is fact and what is fiction. The reality is that people simply enjoy the thrill of scary films, so it is unlikely that they will ever go away. In terms of film revenues, sharks really have become the super stars of the ocean. They are a money making machine for Hollywood. Worldwide Box office and DVD sales for the four "Jaws" movies, "Deep Blue Sea," and "Shark Tale" total up to $980 million. That does not include "Sharknado" and "Shark Week" profits. It's safe to say that total profits are probably in the billions. If sharks have the ability to drive a million dollar industry, then there must be a way to translate that into a benefit for sharks. This is the challenge we are facing with our “Hollywood Sharks” campaign.

Laurel Irvine