Probably not too surprisingly, given how much of a pop-culture phenomenon the film has become, Syfy and production company The Asylum announced yesterday that the first Sharknado merchandise program is in development with Earthbound LLC, a direct-to-retail and brand licensing agency. Sharknado will be translated into a wide range of potential merchandise, from fashion tees, bags, posters, accessories and costumes to gaming, and other areas. According to a Syfy release, the first wave of Sharknado T-shirts will hit retail stores nationally within the coming weeks.
“We’re excited to be working with Earthbound and Syfy, and to seeing Sharknado on every T-shirt, umbrella, and chainsaw in America,” said Paul Bales, partner at The Asylum.
Though not a particular ratings hit when it first aired on July 11, Sharknado took Twitter by storm that night and immediately entered pop-culture consciousness. Syfy has since re-aired the film two times, and the network announced this week that the audience for the movie has grown with each airing. The July 11 premiere drew 1.4 million total viewers; a July 18 re-air brought in 1.9 million total viewers; and a recent third re-air on July 27 drew 2.1 million total viewers, with this third showing becoming the most watched Syfy Original Movie encore in the network’s history. Syfy says a third re-airing of Sharknado will take place Aug. 22 at 7pm ET/PT, just ahead of its latest shark-themed movie premiere, Ghost Shark (9pm ET/PT).
Along with the Sharknado merchandise announcement yesterday, Syfy also officially confirmed last week that a sequel, with the working title of Sharknado 2, has been greenlit. Set in New York City, Sharknado 2 is scheduled to premiere on Syfy in 2014. Syfy is running a Twitter contest (at @SyfyMovies, using hashtag #Sharknado) for viewers to help name the sequel with an appropriate subtitle.
In announcing Sharknado 2, Thomas Vitale, Executive Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, Syfy, said: “Every once in a while, there is a perfect storm – on television. The fans are clamoring for a sequel. Or perhaps it will be a prequel. What we can guarantee is that Sharknado 2 will be lots of fun. We’ll be announcing more details very soon. But we didn’t want our fans to worry they wouldn’t get their fill of more shark fin, I mean, fun, next year.”
No plot details on Sharknado 2 yet, though rumors swirled last weekend that Tara Reid may not be involved, though those concerns were put to rest by producers, at least for now. If nothing else, by the time of Sharknado 2‘s airing, you should have your Sharknado merchandise in hand.
Sharknado photo: Courtesy of Syfy