Out of curiosity I started looking up theme parks with attractions related to the movies. Of course Disney ranks first and all the more after acquiring Lucas Film, which will brought to their current catalog of potential rides Star Wars and Indiana Jones. In 2015 a new ride featuring Avatar should also be opened. Universal is running second and thanks to the support of Comcast, Universal is opening rides with Harry Potter and the characters from Despicable me.
But American majors are not the only one to see the opportunity in using their intellectual property, that is to say the characters from their movies, in theme parks as illustrated below.
Other projects are still being launched such as the Parc du Petit Prince based on the novel by Saint Exupéry. It opened in Alsace, France, in 2014 and attracted 60,000 visitors. Next to Rome in July 2014, a theme park open in the colours of 60s Italian cinema, Cinecitta World. Even Wes Anderson has ventured opening a theme park based on his films’ sets.
Intellectual property is the new gold as DVD sales are depleting and serious competition from VOD and piracy are perceived as threats to theatres attendance levels. Nonetheless are these characters going to bring enough revenues to sustain the high cost of running a theme park? But maybe it is less a question of revenue stream than soft power. If you want to compete with the majors you have to be present in every form of entertainment…