Let's Look at the Numbers
Until Star Wars was released in 1977, Jaws was the highest grossing film to date, taking the place of The Godfather. Jaws had a production budget of $7 million, and earned $470.7 million at the box office worldwide. In 2001, Jaws was even selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being, “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Jaws paved the way and set the bar high for all shark-centric movies to come.
Discovery Channel’s Shark Week
Since 1988, Discovery Channel has dedicated a whole week of programming to shark content, that’s 30 years! So how much does Discovery Channel make in one week of sharks? According to Money, Inc., in 2015 Shark Week reported $6.3 billion, that’s right, BILLION, in programming. Of course the main source of this income is advertising, but that just speaks to how popular this week is. 2015 also broke the viewership record of 1.2 million people with 1.27 million people per program. Discovery Channel’s daytime viewership jumped 61% during Shark Week.
The Sharknado Franchise
The opening of Sharknado 1 was viewed by 1.37 million people, which is only a tad below the average for a Syfy Original Film. With a publicity stir around the film, Syfy re-aired the film the following week to bring in 1.89 million viewers this time, a 38% increase of viewership. A couple weeks after that, they aired the film a second time to get 2.1 million viewers, setting a record for the most watched film encore in Syfy Channel history. Sharknado is projected to increase revenue for Syfy films by 3x. Wikipedia