Sharknado 3: Worst Thing Ever or Marketing Genius?

Edited: July 22, 2015, 10:15 PM

So I broke down and ended up watching Sharknado 3. Half of the movie takes place at Universal Orlando and it was fun watching one of my favorite places get ripped to shreds. Did anyone else happen to see it? Do you think this will entice more people to visit or should they avoid it like the plague now that it's aired?

Replies (22)

Edited: July 23, 2015, 6:51 AM

I watched it last night, and it was a HUGE corporate sell-out. I was impressed that generally they did a decent job with the script supervision, and the shooting locations at Universal Orlando were logically aligned with the flow of the movie. I only noticed a few obvious errors where I said, "there's no way they got from there to here". They even worked in Twister into a scene, which was appropriately placed just after Zeering got flung off RRR.

They even used a couple of obvious backstage and redressed areas that worked well in the film. If I observed correctly, the White House interior scenes and opening awards gala location were both shot inside Escape from Gringott's, and the exterior cast shots at Kennedy Space Center were actually done on the USF backlot (I could see the Hogwart's Express track in the background). They shot inside Cabana Bay (obvious corporate tie in with more than a few "glamour shots" of the resort) and used parts of areas around both the Hard Rock Hotel and Royal Pacific Resort. They even mentioned the shuttle that connects Cabana Bay to the parks in dialogue stiltedly delivered by Tara Reid.

If you got past all of the obscene corporate tie-ins (Xfinity, NBC/Today Show, etc...) it was generally entertaining as one would expect from this franchise. I don't think it affects admissions to the parks, but it certainly raised awareness of Cabana Bay, as did Celebrity Apprentice last year.

July 23, 2015, 7:41 AM

The Washington DC street scenes were also shot on the Universal New York street areas. My opinion. The movie was so bad it gives the term camp comedy new meaning, though the Twister & Jaws scenes were excellent. But it is marketing genius. The tie in with Universal Orlando, NBC Today, Kathy & Hoda etc. was extensive and pretty well done. I've seen a number of movies shot at Disney, Six Flags etc., but usually there's only a few fleeting shots. This was more like spending a day at the park & Cabana Bay.

July 23, 2015, 8:44 AM

The difference between Disney and Universal: Disney sends its sitcom stars and reality show contestants to its parks to hype them in heart-warming episodes. Universal sends flying sharks to its parks and pretends to destroy everyone and everything in sight.

Edited: July 23, 2015, 9:14 AM

Rob, most of the exterior Washington DC scenes (first 5-10 minutes of the movie) were actually shot in DC (there were calls and street closures last winter when they filmed), and all of the mission control scenes were shot in the Comcast SportsNet studios in Bethesda, MD featuring a number of DC talent/celebrities (current Washington Redskins players Ryan Kerrigan and Tom Compton along with CSN personality Brian Mitchell, political celebrities Michelle Bachman and Anthony Weiner, and others). Kerrigan, cast as the lead communications officer, probably had as much dialogue as Weiner, who was the mission control director.

Edited: July 23, 2015, 9:08 AM

The Sharknado movies are as funny as the name is. The movies don't take themself to serieus and the people who love the movies (and I'm one of them) know what to expect.
When I heard they would take the sharnado to Universal Studios Orlando I was in seventh heaven. How fun is it watching what you love get themed up with your most favourit theme park.

The fact they actualy filmed there makes me want to visit the park even more. It also shows Universal has an edge Disney is missing. For my tast Disney is too sweet to the point that my tooth enamel jumps from my teeth. The sitcom families visiting the Disney parks use them as a backdrop but the parks itself never play a role in them. That is not very good use of what is there and those episodes are Always a disapointment to me.

No sharks, people or theme parks have been hurt during the filming of this movie.

July 23, 2015, 9:42 AM

I have to watch it now. I only saw ten minutes before switching to the Angels vs Twins game where the Angels won again. The whole movie is CGI with bad acting from washed up actors.

"it was a HUGE corporate sell-out" I'm speechless.

Edited: July 23, 2015, 11:46 AM

When Ian Z jumped out of the car and ran to the White House, that was in USF next to where the Blues Bros. show is.

Anyone who took Sharknado3 critically serious needs a vacation to Universal Orlando to loosen up. I love the Comcast NBC Universal cross promotion. It is all for fun. Golf Channel even got into it last year.

For people who were getting tired of Wizarding World of Harry Potter everywhere, none was in Sharknado3. The flying sharks were too scared of JK Rowling's wrath.

Edited: July 23, 2015, 11:55 AM

Russell; I was just referring to the DC street scenes with the crowds. Those were shot in UO in front of Louie's Restaurant in the NYC section. I probably should have clarified that.

July 23, 2015, 11:56 AM

"When Ian Z jumped out of the car and ran to the White House, that was in USF next to where the Blues Bros. show is."

Yes, but all of the actual scenes in the car and of him running during the pre-title sequence were shot in DC. The New York area of USF was heavily used for multiple scene throughout the movie in addition to those meant to be staged within the park. They used the Horror Makeup Show marquee a few times as well as the Production Central area.

The absence of Harry Potter was pretty striking, and I think they even CG-ed out Hogwarts Castle off the wide shot when the Universal Ball landed on the IOA Lighthouse (I'd have to watch again to verify). I'm guessing Rowling would have taken serious objection to her property portrayed in the film, though like I noted before, it appeared that a couple of the interior scenes were filmed inside Gringott's.

Edited: July 23, 2015, 2:01 PM

Compared to Sharknado 2: Electric Boogaloo, Sharknado 3: CrappyPoo dropped 27% in viewers (2.8 million versus 3.9 million), and 33% in adults 18-49 (0.9 versus 1.3).

So with failing ratings what else could Syfy do? They confirmed Sharknado 4 for next year. Such decisions are why I never watch Syfy.

July 23, 2015, 2:08 PM

I liked the part where Universal forced the sharks staying at their resorts pay for parking.

July 23, 2015, 3:10 PM

Universal just blogged the highlights in GIF format.

July 23, 2015, 4:05 PM

Highlights? Really? Don't you need quotes around that word?

Edited: July 23, 2015, 4:58 PM

I don't know, watching Springer get chomped and Kim Richards get smashed were definitely satisfying to me.

July 23, 2015, 8:26 PM

I'm not sure what the complaints are about this. Of course it's gonna be a horrible movie. It's campy, cheezy, and low budget. It's like expecting Fast & the Furious to be the big Oscar winner.

For bad movies, this is like Twilight, just with a more violence, smaller budget, and less lovey dovey stuff.

July 23, 2015, 8:37 PM

If it wasn't for the Universal Orlando scenes I wouldn't have turned it on. I would think the majority of posters here did the same. I didn't watch #1 or #2, and I'm sure not going to watch #4, unless it's based at Universal again. I really didn't expect much and I wasn't disappointed. But it did have a few decent moments.

July 24, 2015, 3:35 AM

The question of James Trexen's post was: "Worst Thing Ever or Marketing Genius?" It sounds like folks are, thankfully, leaning toward the former.

And the Sharknado series in no way compares to Fast&Furious or Twilight. Not even close. Well, maybe Fast&Furious... nah, not even.

July 27, 2015, 1:00 PM

It was interesting that it didn't feature Wizarding World or the Simpsons sections. Only Cabana Bay, the roller coaster, and Twister. Was Earthquake filmed in L.A. for that ride doesn't exist in Orlando anymore. So they had a fake ride in Sharknado.

July 27, 2015, 1:01 PM

That was filmed in the queue and on-ride of Disaster.

July 27, 2015, 1:20 PM

The subway earthquake scene is shown many times a day in Disaster at USF (which was Earthquake before the new story line was incorporated several years ago). The Twister indoors scene was funny to me because I met several of the audience extras over the last several years. As for what areas made the film, there are numerous contracts with numerous Intellectual Property owners on movie rights, theme park rights, book rights, video game rights, etc. and I guess only Universal owned rights were used.

July 27, 2015, 1:46 PM

Worst thing ever or marketing genius?

Survey says...


July 27, 2015, 2:20 PM

I say both too.

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