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How Many Jaws Movies Are There? Shark Movies 101

How Many Jaws Movies Are There?

Jaws spawned three sequels: Jaws 2 in 1978, Jaws 3-D in 1983, and Jaws: The Revenge in 1987. With the franchise earning over $800 million in total, it is no surprise that it created a new film subgenre: the shark thriller. While some shark thrillers nowadays veer into comedic territory (see: the Sharknado franchise), there are still several shark-centric movies that do the subgenre justice. Here are all Jaws movies in order and other great shark movies out there.

Here are all Jaws movies in chronological order:

1. Jaws (1975)

how many jaws movies are there

In 1975, the director Steven Spielberg made history with the release of Jaws. At the time, it was considered the first summer blockbuster of its kind and quickly established a new business model for mainstream American cinema. So since then, people are wondering how many jaws movies are there?

Based on the book of the same name by Peter Benchley, the film follows a great white shark that terrorizes a small beach town and the lengths that Police Chief Martin Brody (played by Roy Scheider) goes to in order to protect the town.

The film was a massive hit, grossing $7 million in one weekend and winning three Academy Awards. In 2001, it was preserved in the United States National Film Registry for its widespread cultural relevance that continues to be felt to this day.

2. Jaws 2 (1978)

jaws 2 1978
Jaws 2

Years after the first attacks, Police Chief Martin Brody along with Amity Island are reeling from the traumatic events that befell them. Mayor Vaughn decides to eliminate the bad stigma of the place by holding a sailing competition. Sheriff Brody objects vehemently, but Mayor Vaughn pushes through and accuses him of just being too paranoid – until the actual sailing event transpires.

3. Jaws 3D (1983)

jaws 3
Jaws 3d

Jaws 3d has a different cast and somewhat different setting than the first two movies. It stars Louis Gosset Jr, Kathryn Morgan, and Dennis Quaid. The story is about a marine theme park capturing a random great white shark who happens to swim nearby the park premises. Little do they know that it’s actually a baby shark and its much larger mother angrily comes for all of them.

4. Jaws The Revenge (1987)

Jaws 4 The Revenge
Jaws The Revenge

By this time the story moves forward from the Jaws 2. As Martin Brody has passed and has left her widow Ellen along with their two sons Sean and Michael Brody. Sean, unfortunately, dies of a shark attack working as a police deputy trying to clear off a log on a buoy. Ellen is distraught and goes to his other son Michael in the Bahamas. There she meets Hoagie and develops a relationship until shark attacks in the area start to occur again.

The chronology of Jaws movies gets skipped by the 2nd sequel which is Jaws 3d. The Brody family seems to be cursed with Shark attacks but it’s not clear as to why this is.

Here’s a list of other great shark movies like Jaws

1. Open Water (2003)

open water

Open Water is a survival horror thriller film loosely based on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan. The story is about a couple going diving somewhere in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The terrifying ordeal they had to endure being alone, in one of the most shark-filled waters in the world, makes for a terribly uneasy viewing experience. The film cost $120,000 dollars to make and grossed over $55,000.000. 

This is one of the best shark movies ever made and set the standard for a new approach for shark horror movies, combining a less cinematic approach to a more visceral and realistic feel to the movie.

2. The Reef (2010)

The Reef is a 2010 shark thriller based on a true story from Australia. It follows a group of friends sailing to Indonesia to deliver a yacht. After the capsize, the group finds themselves terrorized by a great white shark while swimming to a nearby island.

This Australian horror, also known as Shark Attack, is a modern classic. Their modest budget of $3.8 million actually worked to their advantage as they used real shark footage instead of special effects. If you want to see a suspenseful, terrifying shark thriller, then this is one that deserves a watch.

3. The Meg (2018)

meg

This epic blockbuster is an exhilarating adventure that unleashes a 75-foot-long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon — thought to be extinct — on an underwater drilling station in the Pacific Ocean. An action-packed adventure that delivers epic thrills, The Meg stars Jason Statham and Li Bingbing as an expert rescue diver and a charismatic oceanographer. They team up in a race against time to save the crew of a deep-sea submersible.

The Meg is one of the more unique shark films on this list, as it involves a bit of science fiction. After all, it features the pre-historic megalodon shark. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it’s a fun, mindless blockbuster that accomplishes its mission of entertaining audiences.

4. 47 Meters Down (2017)

47 meters down

Kate and Lisa are a pair of adventurous young sisters that embark on a vacation to Mexico. While swimming with sharks, their cage breaks away from their boat and they are left stuck at the bottom of the ocean. With their oxygen supply dwindling and no way of contacting anyone for help, they must find a way back to the surface before it’s too late.

47 Meters Down is your typical shark attack movie, save for the nice twist at the end. While it doesn’t reinvent the genre by any means, it’s equally tragic and thrilling.

5. The Shallows (2016)

the shallows

Blake Lively stars as Nancy Adams in this terrifying suspense thriller about a young woman who is attacked by a great white shark while surfing alone. When the predator begins circling her, she must fight for her life as she tries to swim to safety.

The Shallows is one of the best shark movies to come out in recent years. Lively gives her best performance to date as a grieving daughter who finds herself living a surfer’s nightmare. The film, despite being mostly shot with special effects, is well-made and a worthy addition to the shark thriller subgenre.

6. Kon-Tiki (2012)

kon tiki

Kon-Tiki (2012) is a relatively unknown movie in the U.S. but was the highest-grossing movie in Norway in 2012. It qualifies as one of the better shark movies, as there are shark scenes, and is set mostly in the deepest oceans. It’s also a historical movie about Thor Heyerdahl and his Kon-Tiki expedition of 1947.

The movie has a great production quality to it and as he starts his journey aboard that tiny raft you feel that you’re in for the ride. Many perils lurk above and beneath the waters, he navigated but seeing how optimistic he was about his theory about South Americans being the ones to immigrate to Polynesia first, contrary to popular beliefs at the time.

The shark scenes here are as harrowing and just as thrilling as the other movies on this list so shark fans need not worry. It doesn’t belong to a list of most “best shark movies” lists, the shark scenes in here will satisfy most shark horror movie fans.

7. Shark Night 3d (2011)

shark night 3d

Shark Night 3d  is a 2011 American shark horror film directed by David R. Ellis. It’s a semi-low budget and campy shark movie but the effects and production are great so it does make for a fun viewing experience.

It doesn’t really pretend to be anything else, nor is it over-the-top insane like some recent shark movies that followed. It’s just a simple story that works as a shark movie. It’s about a group of friends who go to an island lake cabin for a vacation. They are unaware that there are sharks all over the waters surrounding them. As to who released the sharks or what caused it to be there is something you’ll find out.

8. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Deep blue sea

This classic sci-fi horror shark horror movie probably ranks as one of the best shark movies alongside Jaws. It’s directed by Renny Harlin and stars Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, and LL Cool J. Its budget of almost 80 million dollars was evident because the production, effects, and casting were on point. 

It’s a story about an experiment gone awry when the sharks being experimented on become sentient and start going after the people responsible for their captivity. Some memorable scenes of Samuel Jackson will always be remembered because of this movie. This is probably the most fun Shark movie that doesn’t sacrifice quality.

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