Jaws 2 (1978): Mediocre Sequel to Spielberg’s 1975 Original

The second, inferior installment in what became a Jaws franchise, Jaws 2, followed Spielberg’s 1975 original movie by exactly three years.

It was directed by Jeannot Szwarc, who co-wrote the script with Carl Gottlieb.

Once again, the story stars Roy Scheider as Police Chief Martin Brody, with Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton reprising their respective roles as Martin’s wife Ellen Brody and mayor Larry Vaughn.

In this story, Chief Brody suspects that another great white shark is terrorizing the sea side resort of Amity Island, after some incidents and disappearances.

Like the production of the first film, the production of Jaws 2 was troubled.

The original director, John D. Hancock, proved to be unsuitable for an action film and was replaced by Szwarc.

Scheider, who reprised his role to end a contractual issue with Universal, was also unhappy during production and had several heated exchanges with Szwarc.

Jaws 2 was briefly the highest-grossing sequel in film history– until Rocky II was released in 1979.

The film’s tagline, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water … ” has become one of the most famous in film history and has been parodied.

Although Jaws 2 received mixed reviews, it is generally considered to be the best of the three Jaws sequels.

The secondary cast includes Joseph Mascolo, Jeffrey Kramer, Collin Wilcox, Ann Dusenberry, Mark Gruner, Susan French, Barry Coe, Donna Wilkes, and Gary Springer.

Jaws 2 was the most expensive film that Universal had produced up until that point, costing $30 million. Despite mixed reviews, the film earned $78 million during its initial release. It eventually surpassed the $100 million with reissues, earning $103 million and $209 million worldwide. Despite grossing less than half of Spielberg’s, it became Hollywood’s highest-grossing sequel.

Jaws 3-D and Jaws: The Revenge were released in 1983 and 1987, respectively