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What's wrong with calling a film, Untitled 3D Shark Thriller?

02.08.2011

What's wrong with an obvious and honest title?

SNAKES ON A PLANE director David Ellis favors such a title. Why come up with something when you can just go for simplicity? Ellis' next movie was being sold overseas as SHARK NIGHT 3D, but in America the title is UNTITLED 3D SHARK THRILLER. Apparently Relativity Media does not care for the title of SHARK NIGHT 3D so the marketing department is trying to think of something better.

Ellis agrees, “I hated the original title [Shark Night 3D], too, so at our weekly production meetings, I made everyone on the crew come up with names — Chums, Fins, Terror on the Lake — but they all seemed kind of cheesy. And so until I hear a better name, I like what we’ve got right now: Untitled 3D Shark Thriller. The title says everything you need to know: 'We’ve got sharks.' 'It’s in 3D.' and, 'It’s a thriller.'”

Rival studios think the current American title is great. One studio said this, “These days, there are two routes to take. It’s either titles like Snakes on a Plane or Hot Tub Time Machine — or you can try for highbrow and say, ‘From the people who brought you Avatar, comes … ’ — but neither seems to have any real effect; I don’t think anything matters anymore, so why not Untitled 3D Shark Thriller?”

Heather Menzies-Urich, the star of Joe Dante’s PIRANHA and a snake movie from 1973 titled, Sssssss thinks that a title could make or break a film. This is what she said about Sssssss, "Everyone looked at it as kind of a joke. I think it hurt the movie. I mean, don’t you feel funny just saying it? 'Sssssss.' How many people would go around saying, ‘Have you seen Sssssss?’ I wound up calling it the ‘S-movie,’ which may have been a better title for it." Then the actress had this to say about the PIRANHA title, “People are so scared of piranhas. Just the word sends chills up spines. That, and the fact that we couldn’t really call it 'The P-movie.'" But what does she think that UNTITLED 3D SHARK THRILLER would work? "Absolutely."

Roger Corman on the other hand has mixed feelings and feels like the title may be a little "too hip for the room". Here's what he had to say:

“In the last couple years, I’ve done a couple of pictures for the SyFy Channel: Dinocroc and Dinoshark. They both got very high ratings. Then SyFy Channel called me and said, 'You’ve come with these titles, and they’ve done well. We’ve come up with one, and wanted to know if you wanted to make it.'"

"So I said, 'Let me hear it.'"

"They said, 'Sharktopus.'"

"I said, ‘No way. Not interested. My theory is this: You can go up to a certain level of insanity with your titles. Dinocroc and Dinoshark are within those limits. Go over it, and the audience turns on you.’ But [SyFy] wore me down, and I agreed to make it. What happens? Sharktopus got the highest rating of any original movie on the channel in five years. Which shows that the level of insanity is higher than I thought it was, and that even at my age — and I’m 84 — you can learn something. They want titles that I would not have considered almost a year ago. I just agreed to make a movie called Piranhaconda, which goes above the limit of what I previously thought was the limit of insanity. We shoot in March."

Extra Tidbit: What do you think? Does it matter if the film is titled, UNTITLED 3D SHARK THRILLER?
Source: Vulture

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