Afternoon Thrill Seekers,
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is home to the very popular Marvel Super Hero Land. It houses great rides like the Incredible Hulk Coaster and the Spider-Man 3D ride, Marvel has been big business for Universal and continues to be a real feather in its bow.
So the irony that Marvel is actually owned by Universal’s biggest competitor Disney, isn’t lost on anyone. When Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4 Billion they agreed to honour all existing contracts, this included film rights and the use of characters.
Universal’s Marvel contract only applies for to the U.S. and we have recently seen speculation that Disney will be stretching their super hero muscles in their Hong Kong park. Universals deal allegedly prevents them from adding any new rides to the area, they are able to update existing rides which we have seen them do with the revamp of Spider-Man but anyone hoping to see an Iron Man ride will be disappointed.
I have read in a various publications that the contract runs out in 2050 (which would leave me close to 80!) so this leads me to a few questions.
Can Universal afford to have a land at their disposal that they can’t add to for 37 years?
Do Universal want to be marketing a product owned by a competitor?
What could they do?
Well the first 2 questions are definitely the basis of another post, probably a very long post!
However the 3rd question “what could they do?” is interesting; Marvel are not the only comic book character owners out there, DC own quite a few popular characters of their own, none bigger than the Dark Knight himself Batman. At present DC theme park rights belong to Six Flags in Maryland but surely Universal could come to an agreement assuming Six Flags aren’t looking to expand to Florida.
I recently posted about Universal being in talks to purchase the rights to Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings, Hobbit etc) could this be an option?
Whatever happens I’ll be 80 so I probably wont care… but I’ll keep you updated as much as I can.