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‘Sharknado’ Storms Into Regal Theaters Aug. 2

Exhib tries to capitalize on social buzz swirling around Syfy creature feature with midnight showings on 200 screens

Syfy social phenom “Sharknado” is getting a one-night-only cinema replay, with Regal Entertainment Group set to stage midnight showings of creature feature on about 200 screens next Friday night, Aug. 2.

Exhib leader positions “Sharknado” stunt, with tix priced at $12.50 apiece, as having the potential to build into a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” type of franchise.

Made-for-TV pic from Asylum swirled into a cult hit after a small but potent Twitter hurricane — peaking at 5,000 tweets per minute — accompanied July 11 airing on Syfy. NBCUniversal’s Syfy has greenlit a sequel to be set in Gotham and invited Twitter users to submit ideas for a subtitle with the hashtag #Sharknado. “Sharknado 2” is skedded to bow in July 2014 on Syfy.

“‘Sharknado’ has become a force of nature in its own right,” Regal marketing chief Ken Thewes said in a statement. “There’s just something epic about watching these huge beasts on the big screen with your friends and family. The crowd reactions will make for a memorable experience in our theaters.”

While it’s unclear whether “Sharknado” will inspire levels of fan interaction that have developed for 1975 musical pic “Rocky Horror,” Regal issued a playful warning to theatergoers that “an umbrella is not much protection” against protagonist Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering), who chainsaws his way out of a shark near end of the pic.

A list of participating Regal theaters is available online at REGmovies.com/promotions/sharknado.

Unfortunately, theater chain will not be presenting the shark-attack fiesta in 3D, as “Sharknado” was produced in conventional 2D, Regal rep confirmed.

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