Box Office Bomb: This Jaws film FAILED in American theaters, grossing $20,763,013 against a $20 million budget and an additional $3 million in marketing costs.
Creator Killer: Emmy Award-winning director Joe Sargent was nominated for the Razzie for Worst Director for his work on the film; he was mostly relegated to TV movies for the remainder of his career.
Dawson Casting: 9-year old Judith Barsi as 5-year old Thea Brody. (She had a growth deformity that made her look much younger than she was)
Executive Meddling: The film's original ending made a little more sense, but was changed for overseas prints due to the poor performance in theaters. Yes, the impaled shark ending was used in original theatrical prints.
Money, Dear Boy: Michael Caine only appeared because of it. And later regretted being in the Bahamas shooting it instead of picking up his Academy Award for Hannah and Her Sisters. He's never even seen the film — but he assures that it paid for a lovely house!
This is also the reason for his notorious instantly dry shirt after climbing onto the boat. In the heat of the Bahamas it dried out between takes, and when no one else noticed he elected to remain comfortably dry rather than point it out.
Michael Caine generally prefers not to acknowledge his involvement in the film. As mentioned above, he's never even watched it, but is well aware of its terrible reputation. Universal became aware of that reputation immediately, and embraced it, allowing Steven Spielberg to launch a Take That to this movie in the second Back To The Future film.
Director Joseph Sargent did an interview with the Television Academy in 2006 when he was questioned about making this film. Judging by his expressions while answering the question, it appears that he wasn't very fond of it either.
Although she had been mostly retired from acting for eight years prior to appearing in the film, and gave it up completely after its release, it was still a sad last effort for actress Lorraine Gary, who got a Worst Actress nomination for her performance.
One could also argue that she did it as a favor for her husband, Sidney Sheinberg, who was head of Universal Pictures at the time.
It was one of many box-office bombs that helped set back Michael Caine's career for a brief time, until he had a Career Resurrection in the late 1990's.
Lance Guest had looked like he might have a promising career after playing the title character in The Last Starfighter. After his appearance here, he's appeared in a grand total of two theatrically released films.
Roy Scheider and Murray Hamilton were originally asked to appear in the film, but the former flat-out refused to come back, while the latter died before any serious work began on the screenplay.
The studio considered making the film in 3D — which would have made this the first film franchise to have two 3D sequels — but worries about the cost of shipping the 3D film cameras to the Bahamas and keeping them working properly in the tropical climate nixed that idea.