A 90 minute campy Syfy channel movie that climaxes with a duel between a man with a chainsaw and a flying shark was a social media hit on a quiet summer night.
There were more than 604,000 tweets about the irresistible Sharknado from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. ET on Thursday, according to social media analytics firm Fizziology. The Syfy film, which starred Tara Reid, Ian Ziering and Cassie Scerbo, premiered at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Putting that figure in context, HBO's widely discussed Game of Thrones "Red Wedding" episode drew 241,000 tweets in response to the show, Fizziology said. Syfy is also basic cable, whereas HBO is a premium subscription channel.
Another analytics firm, Trendrr, found the Twitter response to Sharknado to be much closer to the Game of Throne episode than the figures Fizziology reported, with the HBO show slightly leading the Syfy movie. The amount of tweets that referenced Sharknado were "within 2.5K tweets" of the Thrones episode that aired June 2, according to a Friday news release by Syfy.
Twitter itself also contextualized the outsized response to the sharks-meet-tornados B-movie, produced by Asylum. The microblogging platform's official data account posted a chart showing a peak of more than 5,000 tweets a minute were referencing Sharknado at 10:58 p.m. ET.
Nielsen's SocialGuide ranked Sharknado at the top of Thursday night's TV shows with the most social media activity -- although the figures were lower than what Fizziology recorded. Nielsen's figures show more than 318,000 tweets sent referencing Sharknado.