Entertainment Theme Parks: See Me, Hear Me, Touch Me - Ride Me?

More movie studies are taking entertainment to a more tangible level: a theme park or ride. Lionsgate, which produced the big movie franchise “Hunger Games,” would like to follow other big studios like Universal Studios, with its own franchise forerunners including “Jurassic Park,” as well as the longtime king of studio-based theme parks, Walt Disney.

Or Lionsgate could follow the Warner Bros. template and license its characters and stories to theme park operators. For example, Motiongate, a park in the Middle East featuring a “Hunger Games” style roller coaster, is scheduled to open next year.  The venue, built by Dubai Parks and Resorts,  will also include license rides/location-place attractions from DreamWorks Animation and Sony Pictures.

One might think the payout for theme park rides would be small change next to the bigger movie box office receipts -- especially for Lionsgate. For all the “Hunger Games” films so far, total worldwide movie revenue comes to $2.3 billion. By way of comparison, Lionsgate is targeting some $100 million over the next few years from “location-based entertainment.”



Still, this kind of entertainment leverages up-close and personal attractions that consumers may desire in comparison to a world of digital consumption and media fractionalization.

Disney has worked on this business formula for decades, cross-promoting all its  movie, TV and other platform franchise properties. Associated consumer products are, of course, another marketing tool.

At the same time, media/entertainment providers are also looking at “virtual reality” efforts that connect to movies and TV -- which could also be a new piece of the theme park puzzle.

We can only hope a Lionsgate “Mad Men” adult exhibit is on the way, with an attraction/ride offering up a drunken martini-laced environment.

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