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Old 09-07-2012, 12:45 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by tjkraz View Post
And apparently they liked it, as evidenced by the high Rotten Tomatoes figures from both critics and the public.

Not sure I really see the point here. Avatar doesn't have the fan base of Harry Potter and yet it sold far more tickets at the box office. I won't claim that Avatar is a better property than HP but clearly it has its fans. And that interest can only be re-kindled with sequels on the way.



WWoHP has been a boon for Universal but it hasn't drawn anything away from Disney. The WDW parks' attendance was up about 1% in 2011.
Yeah....OK. I am sure people will fly from across the pond to visit Avatar land because Rotten Tomatoes says they will. And you are incorrect. If you don't think Potter has drawn anything away from Disney then you are delusional.

Do you realize how many people have left Disney property to spend time at Universal *gasp*? Do you think they aren't spending money there? I do believe they are spending "Disney's" money there. Do you even consider that maybe people across the pond go to Universal and "pop" into Disney since they are in the neighborhood? Do you think Disney would have increased attendance by a whopping 1% if there wasn't something new to see in Orlando?

Avatar?

For the record, I am not even a Potter fan. I've never read the books or seen all of the movies. My wife is a huge fan, hence my experience with the Potterverse.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:38 AM   #47
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Please let ut be true! I haven't heard ANYONE say they thought Avatar land was a good idea.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:49 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Mad Hattered View Post
If you don't think Potter has drawn anything away from Disney then you are delusional.
According to TEA attendance numbers, IOA saw a roughly 30% increase in attendance over 2010 (which saw a roughly 30 % increase in 2009). IOA has seen roughly 2 million extra visitors since 2007. IOA trails BOTH DHS and AK by 2 million visitors (to be clear, DHS sees 9.6 million visitors, AK sees 9.8 million visitors).

WDW parks attendance, since WWOHP opened, has not declined a bit and, in fact, saw some growth.

USF has seen reductions in attendance, actually, and has yet to come back to their 2007 attendance levels. They've not lost what IOA has gained, to be clear. But there is obviously some canibalization going on there.

WDW has made record profits. They've increased per capita guest spending. Essentially, they're printing money.

It's hard to see where IOA has drawn anything away from Disney, so far. Other than anecdotally....do you have any figures to back it up? I know there are a LOT of us who would like to see them.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:24 AM   #49
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If you don't think Potter has drawn anything away from Disney then you are delusional.

Do you realize how many people have left Disney property to spend time at Universal *gasp*? Do you think they aren't spending money there? I do believe they are spending "Disney's" money there. Do you even consider that maybe people across the pond go to Universal and "pop" into Disney since they are in the neighborhood?
Of course they do (although I'm not entirely sure why you are so focused on people "across the pond"--only a small portion of the 300+ million Americans visit Disney parks in any given year.) Disney and Universal may be rivals but they also have a symbiotic relationship, feeding off of one another.

In the most recent quarter, theme park profits were up 21% and average guest spending was up 8%. So clearly folks still have something left in their pockets after they return from WWoHP.

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Do you think Disney would have increased attendance by a whopping 1% if there wasn't something new to see in Orlando?
Still climbing out of the biggest recession / housing crisis this country has ever seen, and with near double-digit unemployment...no I wouldn't view it as a foregone conclusion.

The real question is whether or not any of the WDW parks are capable of explosive growth at this point. If Disney spends $500 million at DHS or DAK and sees a 3% increase, that's about 150,000 additional people. Not a very good return on the investment.

Universal saw success by bringing in an outside IP: Harry Potter. That's what Disney was hoping to replicate with Avatar. If they put $500M into some generic Disney/Pixar attraction, it's just more of the same.

Whether or not Avatar is the right property is certainly a topic for discussion. But it amuses me how quick people are to dismiss it despite the glowing reviews and astronomical earnings. Just because one's own circle of friends doesn't happen to appreciate Avatar doesn't mean it won't reach a completely different audience.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:45 AM   #50
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Whether or not Avatar is the right property is certainly a topic for discussion. But it amuses me how quick people are to dismiss it despite the glowing reviews and astronomical earnings. Just because one's own circle of friends doesn't happen to appreciate Avatar doesn't mean it won't reach a completely different audience.
ESPECIALLY on Disney boards.

I'm not exactly sure how big of a crossover there is between Disney fans and Avatar fans. It seems like an odd juxtaposition, to me (which might very well be an argument against).

Avatar was very big with a very specific demographic (18 - 30 year olds, though the gender split was much more even than you'd expect for a sci fi movie).

It was not big with kids (thus, the unsold Avatar toys in the clearance bins). It was not huge with the over 30 sect.

Now, I agree...the 18 to 30 demo is vastly underserviced at WDW...especially with the demise of PI and many of the night time adult entertainment options. But is that really a huge segment of WDW's customers? Maybe it is...I don't know. Disney must think they can work their magic to make it appeal to a broader demo...and maybe they can. Heck, they've broadened demo appeal in other IP's, before. Easily possible they could here, too.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #51
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If Disney spends $500 million at DHS or DAK and sees a 3% increase, that's about 150,000 additional people. Not a very good return on the investment.
Something about the above sentence was nagging at my brain.

One small thing:

DHS had around 9.6 million visitors in 2011.

AK had around 9.8 million visitors in 2011.

3% of 9.6 million is 288,000.

3% of 9.8 million is 294,000.

Having said that, I agree with the overall conclusion....for many of the reasons we've discussed in the past (both here and in other threads).
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:39 AM   #52
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"Absolutely James Cameron has a virtually flawless track record in terms of the pictures he has directed. Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, True Lies, Titanic, Avatar.
Which of these became ongoing franchises - the core reason Harry Potter made sense to do as an entire land?

Just two: Terminator, where Cameron directed the first two but not the third film, and Aliens, where the genesis of the franchise -- the 1979 blockbuster -- had nothing to do with Cameron, it was directed by Ridley Scott. Cameron directed only one of the three sequels (the first, in 1986). So implying he is the "originator/owner" of the success of that series is specious.

Or to be more blunt, as successful Cameron has been as a director, his track record in creating and developing money machine film franchises is very limited. I.e., over the course of a 34 year long career, he's accomplished that just once.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:49 AM   #53
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Just two: Terminator, where Cameron directed the first two but not the third film...
As an aside..there was a 4th film (Salvation). Also not directed by Cameron. Not as bad as the 3rd, but not as good as the first two, either. It had bigger Box office than the first (which was a cult classic that really got it's biggest numbers on TV and VCR rentals), but not really close to the 2nd.

Incidentally, the 3rd movie did relatively well at the Box office (comparitively...it's the 2nd highest Box Office for the series) but was terrible.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:21 AM   #54
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...and Aliens, where the genesis of the franchise -- the 1979 blockbuster -- had nothing to do with Cameron, it was directed by Ridley Scott. Cameron directed only one of the three sequels (the first, in 1986). So implying he is the "originator/owner" of the success of that series is specious.
Never implied that he was the "originator/owner." However, having seen all of the films it's clear that Cameron's work took the "Alien" franchise in it's present direction. He took a clever sci-fi / horror film and successfully morphed it into an action adventure franchise which has spawned far more than just 2 additional sequels.

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Or to be more blunt, as successful Cameron has been as a director, his track record in creating and developing money machine film franchises is very limited. I.e., over the course of a 34 year long career, he's accomplished that just once.
Well that apparently puts him on equal footing with J.K. Rowling.

I think there's an important distinction to be made between between an unwillingness to develop franchises and an inability to do so. Cameron had every opportunity to direct more Alien, Terminator or True Lies films, but declined to work on other projects. Things like The Abyss and Titanic don't exactly scream for a sequel.

I have a lot more faith in Cameron's ability as a filmmaker than someone like George Lucas who has more franchises on his resume. Unfortunately everything Lucas has done for the last 30 years is virtually unwatchable.

Look, I completely understand the opposition. It's no Harry Potter (spoken for.) It's no Star Wars (Lucas uncooperative?) It's no Marvel Comics (US contract) or DC Comics (not gonna happen with Disney's ownership of Marvel.)

There doesn't appear to be a lot of intersection between Disney fans and Avatar / Sci-Fi fans. But that's exactly the reason why this seems appealing to Disney on many levels.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:32 AM   #55
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hmmmmm

Middle Earth would make a much better land
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I disagree about LOTR movies. They have more staying power than Avatar
FWIW.... You will NEVER see LoTR at a Disney Park. Tolkien had a big dislike of the Disney way of doing things and the people in charge of the properties today are honoring his wishes to never give Disney control of his creation.

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Please let ut be true! I haven't heard ANYONE say they thought Avatar land was a good idea.
I think it's great idea with lots of potential..... if done right....
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:52 AM   #56
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O.k., I'm all for Avatar-land....

...as long as it features dragons, unicorns...and a functioning Yeti..
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:59 AM   #57
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Even if its just a rumour I'm glad as can't really get excited about the whole project at all.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:51 PM   #58
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I can never understand why Disney chose to invest in Avatar in the first place. I assume that they were drawn in by the huge box office success of the movie, but they seem to be forgetting that the only reason it was such a success was that it was the first movie to do 3D "properly" - now that nearly every movie seems to be in 3D this novelty has worn off and I doubt that the sequel/s will do very well.

I mean, the movie franchise is nothing like, say, Star Wars or Harry Potter that have taken on lives of their own way beyond the movies themselves - I have never really heard anyone talk about Avatar beyond the day after they have watched it.

I hope this rumour is true because I could think of lots of better ways for Disney to spend that money!
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:31 PM   #59
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FWIW.... You will NEVER see LoTR at a Disney Park. Tolkien had a big dislike of the Disney way of doing things and the people in charge of the properties today are honoring his wishes to never give Disney control of his creation.

I think it's great idea with lots of potential..... if done right....
Ok, I've now "heard" ONE person say they think it's a good idea. That in a way sounds even worse.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:48 PM   #60
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I don't understand the conversation. It is as if everyone is only able to argue from thePOV of what they like and are unable to see another POV because, well, they don't want to.

Avatar land was a good choice, not so much because it was a big hit and will have many sequels (although that helps). It was chosen because the subject matter lends itself to so much imagination in implementation. As has been pointed out, it generally speaking isn't the theme that counts most it is actually the application and implementation of the attractions that will be the key factor.

HP had the best of both worlds, they had a franchise subject and created the best ride ever to go along with it. Further, their imagineers outdid themselves with theming.

Lastly, the idea that HP didn't cause WDW to "lose anything" based on attendance numbers is just a non starter. If Universal's numbers didn't jump by 30 percent, chances are WDW's would have been much higher - probably not near 30 percent but possibly 10-12 percent (just throwing my own arbitrary figure out there). Income lost is income lost and believe me Disney knows this.
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