Today, “Meg 2: The Trench,” the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2018 hit “Meg,” debuts in theaters across America, marking another chapter in the ever-popular genre of shark-related films.
The “Meg” movies, with “Meg” standing for megalodon, a prehistoric and extinct species of shark believed to be the largest to have ever existed, join a long list of shark-themed films that have captivated audiences for decades.
The fascination with shark movies can be traced back to the iconic “Jaws,” which hit theaters in 1975. While not the first shark movie, it set the standard and remains the highest-rated shark pic of all time, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
Since the release of “Jaws,” shark films have flooded cinema screens, with moviemakers realizing the enduring allure of these apex predators. Sharks, like vampires, possess a naturally frightening appearance with their menacing teeth, ability to lurk undetected, and predatory nature, tapping into our primal fears.
“Jaws” and its successors capitalized on these primal fears, contributing to shark-related anxieties that persist to this day. In response to the impact of these films on popular culture, educational programs like “Shark Week” were introduced to dispel misinformation and foster a better understanding of sharks. “Shark Week” made its debut on the Discovery Channel in 1988 and continues to be a popular annual event.
Shark movies have proven to be profitable endeavors, and while not all of them achieve blockbuster success, they generally generate a decent return on investment. The first “Meg” movie, for instance, grossed over $145 million. Notable examples of shark films with intriguing premises and titles include “Sharknado,” where sharks appear on the streets of Los Angeles due to a freak weather event, “Noah’s Shark,” “Sharks of the Corn,” and “Santa Jaws.”
Over the years, shark movies have become increasingly imaginative, exploring the idea of sharks evolving into more intelligent and formidable adversaries. In “Deep Blue Sea,” scientists elevate the intelligence of sharks in their quest for an Alzheimer’s disease cure. The “Meg” movies, on the other hand, leverage the concept of larger sharks, with the megalodon in “Meg 2” reaching the length of two modern Greyhound buses, heightening the sense of menace and thrill for the audience.
As “Meg 2: The Trench” swims into theaters, it continues the enduring legacy of shark movies, captivating audiences with a mix of fear, fascination, and excitement. The genre’s continued success ensures that sharks will remain a staple on the big screen for years to come.
Source : USA Today
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