Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. proves against the naysayers that our movie fantasies can come true, as long as those fantasies are about fictional restaurants briefly alluded to in a few lines of the movie.
Yes, people do. Locations average $8 million a year and the company takes in over $140 million worldwide. For those who doubt the mystique of American movies to overseas audiences, note that the "Gump" name is enough to cause diners in Japan, Mexico, Indonesia, the Phillippines, Malaysia, and Hong Kong to make the connection from "I saw that movie!" to "I should eat at that restaurant!"
Yes, the food is actually not too bad, and it usually gets decent reviews. It wasn't a bunch of studio execs starting a restaurant out of nowhere - they partnered with Rusty Pelican, an existing chain of seafood restaurants whose name sounds kind of like a dirty sex move.
Obviously they went with the more family-friendly name of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and heavily themed each restaurant after the movie which was enough to make people subconsciously feel like their tourist dollars were going into the pocket of lovable fictional retarded Tom Hanks instead of the less-beloved Viacom.
Not really, in the movie Forrest Gump, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. was a shrimping company that caught shrimp by the strategy of sending boats out into storms and surviving them while competitors' boats were wrecked at the docks. Forrest's description of the operation:
...and we were the only boat left standing. "Bubba-Gump" shrimp's what they got. We got a whole bunch of boats. Twelve Jenny's, a big ol' warehouse, we even have hats that says "Bubba-Gump" on 'em. "Bubba-Gump Shrimp." It's a household name.
The implication is that after he went to visit Jenny and reunited with his son, and then watched Jenny die, that he then was struck by the idea to open expensive restaurants in tourist centers serving shrimp sourced from his company as well as margaritas and T-shirts. Nothing eases the pain of losing a loved one like contributing to the cheesiness of tourist destinations.
That's true. From a movie purist's perspective, the selling of hats in the restaurants' souvenir shop is indeed authentic to the canon of the film.
This will be important to the two or three people concerned about canon regarding Forrest Gump.
If you enjoyed Who Ordered Roger Rabbit above, you might also enjoy:
Baby Back Ribs To the Future
What Fries Beneath
Monster House of Pancakes
The Poultry Express
Yellow Submarine Sandwiches (can open in 2012 with the movie)