Wednesday, August 15, 2012
A Plea For Sanity: Transformers at USF
Can we please, pretty please drop any and all notions of Transformers The Ride coming to Universal Studios Florida having ANYTHING to do with Marvel theme park rights?
There are multiple, more logical reasons for Universal building Transformers in its Florida studio park. First, we are 3 years away from phase 2 of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening in the former Jaws plot. The quick addition of Transformers at the front of the park fills the three year wait with a successful E-Ticket and will hopefully help better distribute the crowds when Potter opens. Second, Transformers has been very successful at Universal Studios Hollywood. Reportedly, the ride's success has exceeded both Comcast's and Disney's expectations. It would a no-brainer to add it to a park that has not seen a new E-Ticket since Revenge of the Mummy opened in 2004 (unless you count Rip Ride Rockit.) Third, Universal Orlando has been recording record profits since the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Insiders say that Universal has made so much money that they basically need to spend it or get taxed on it. Any smart business would elect to reinvest the money in its product in lieu of giving it away to the government. This is apparently the reason for the quick construction timeline. Universal has tons of money and needs to spend it fast.
Others would have you following an endless maze of conjecture and convolution, but as my pal Jim Hill would say, "Why for?" Why continue trying to create drama and intrigue where there is not any? Marvel is Universal Orlando's in perpetuity, meaning it has the theme park rights for as long as it wants. The only way Disney will ever get the rights is if they pay up and pay up BIG. This means that it will never happen. Marvel is a hot commodity right now on the heals of the Avengers, but it would make no sense for Disney to pony up $1B+ for theme park rights, basically handing over all of the money they made on the film. Conversely, it would make no sense for Universal to give the Marvel theme park rights, which are hot right now, back to its competitor unless they received a very large sum of money. Just think about it.
I have heard people perpetuate the notion that it makes no sense for Universal to be giving money over to Disney and allowing Disney to see Universal's books. Again, this is just further shenanigans. Universal was always paying royalties to Marvel, and they still technically are. The only difference is that Disney now owns Marvel. It's no different than Universal paying WB for the Harry Potter rights or Fox for the Simpsons rights. As for Disney being able to see Universal's books, Disney and Universal made a deal when Marvel was acquired that Disney cannot have access to any proprietary or sensitive information regarding Universal Orlando's business. Again, people are creating stories. Marvel is staying at Universal Orlando.
I know Disney fans are desperate for new attractions at Walt Disney World, but it is time to let go of this dream that Disney and its board will suddenly sell the farm just to have an Avengers ride at Hollywood Studios. Remember, you were crying about the Marvel deal a few years ago. Now, you are willing to sacrifice the future. It will not hurt you to visit Islands of Adventure to ride a Spider-Man attraction.
So please, no more Marvel coming to DHS threads or tweets!