For Our Consideration: Syfy’s Sharknado series proves schlock cinema belongs on TV, not in theaters

The back half of 2013 saw the release of two films that share a spiritual kinship and fall under the same broad cinematic classification. One film boasted established characters, an esteemed director, a generous, eight-figure budget, and a cast stocked with name actors, including two Academy Award winners and another with a Golden Globe. The other film was made for only $2 million by an unknown director with actors whose faded glory made them more likely to land a Family Guy cutaway gag than a leading role. The former film was widely panned by critics and ignored by the public, limping to a $15 million box-office haul that fell well short of its $20 million price tag. The latter became a cultural phenomenon, earning rave reviews and spawning (at least) two sequels. The outcome seems counterintuitive at first blush, but it makes perfect sense. Despite the wealth of resources afforded …

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