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Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

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  • [Question] Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

    I'm just wondering what you guys thought about something I've been thinking about lately: Should a film's performance at the box office affect whether or not the said film gets an attraction at the parks? Or if the imagineering team have an idea for a movie based attraction should they just go with it?

    Cause lately I've been thinking of 3 recent (well 2 that opened a few months ago, the third came almost 2 years ago) Disney films, those being Bolt, Bedtime Stories and Meet the Robinsons, that all can easily find their way into different areas of the parks, but unfortunately none have done the kind of busy that Disney usually gets from the Pixar or Bruckheimer films.

    But I simply want to know, does a movie have to make $200 million or more just to get noticed at the parks? Or if someone has an idea, will they simply go on that?

  • #2
    Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

    Well, I'm not really sure, but Bolt did get the parade on Main St.--I guess that means something, right?

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    • #3
      Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

      Disney the company thinks that if the public won't like the production they won't like the attraction.

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      • #4
        Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

        I think it defeats the purpose making an attraction movie-based if the movie isn't well-received. While Disney has certainly done attractions at the same time as or even before their films (e.g. ITTBAB and the castle), I'd say the safest bet is probably to wait until you know if the film has achieved "classic" status, and then make your move if the world of the film would fit naturally in one of the parks - which is often not the case. Indeed, of those three you mentioned, only Meet the Robinsons has any relevance to the parks that we've got in Anaheim, and even that isn't the best fit.

        The movie ought to be popular and relevant to the area where the ride will be. BLAB is a good example of meeting the first criterion but not the second; Mr. Toad is a good example of meeting the second but not the first. Obviously, both attractions bring in numbers that are "good enough," and the latter has even achieved classic status in and of itself. It's not like these are hard-and-fast rules that must always be followed. But on average, I'd say that the best movie-based successes do follow them: Indy, Star Tours, Peter Pan, etc. (Of course, it also helps to have really top-notch execution...)

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        • #5
          Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

          When Disneyland opened, Toad was part of an obscure two-part anthology film, one of several poorly received anthologies that Disney produced around the end of WWII. Alice was a disappointing under-performer at the box office. Peter Pan had done well, Cinderella had been a smash hit, and Davy Crockett was about to became a nationwide phenomenon.

          And yet box office receipts and TV ratings didn't drive the decisions of the people who built Disneyland. There were Toad, Pan and Alice attractions -- but no Cinderella ride. There was Tom Sawyer Island and Fort Wilderness and Indian War Canoes and Mine Trains -- but no Davy Crockett Land. Just the Mike Fink Keelboats, a Davy wax figure in the fort and a Crockett mini-museum in back of a merchandise store.

          The people who built Disneyland into a worldwide phenomenon knew and used marketing, but listened to their guts in deciding which Studio product to adapt for the park. They built for the long term.

          There is simply no comparison to the short-term groupthink that runs Disneyland now.
          Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 04-22-2009, 08:23 PM.
          "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
          Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
          imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

          - Neil Gabler

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          • #6
            Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

            In short, they don't have the guts.

            Since Disney attractions tend to stay for decades (as opposed to Universal's shelf lives), it is not a small task to decide which attraction goes in. The easy answer, currently being employed, is whatever will sell the most in the exit shop.

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            • #7
              Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

              It does make an impact on the parks. The biggest instance I remember is the Submarine Voyage, which was closed in 1998, but said to be brought back in 2003. The plan was to tie the voyage into the newly released movie "Atlantis: Journey to the Lost Empire" which filed terribly in box offices. Therefore, they did not use the movie to tie it into the ride, and the ride did not make a return. After the success of Finding Nemo, they deemed that overlay acceptable, and the classic attraction returned.

              It has a very, very big effect
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              THE DISNEYLAND MONORAIL SYSTEM!

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              • #8
                Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

                "Atlantis" would have made a better attraction, but "Atlantis" should have also been a better film.

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                • #9
                  Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

                  I quite liked Atlantis. It would have made an interesting attraction, although it easily could have suffered from the same unconvincing projection techniques.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

                    The corporate buzz word is synergy. The ride has to support the movie, and vice versa. In the case of movie franchises, that effect goes into overkill (e.g., Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 are in production).

                    A new ride today often (usually?) costs upwards of $100 million to make, so it is highly unlikely that Disney will ever honor a mediocre box office performer in their parks (a float in a parade or character in a meet and greet might be an exception, since that is cheap to produce).

                    I do agree that it is a shame when Imagineering gets limited like that, but I think budgets are a bigger issue than concepts. Given ample budgets, I believe almost any movie can be turned into a worthwhile attraction. So if they're going to focus only on their biggest box office hits, at least they should give them the quality attractions they deserve.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

                      Originally posted by disneyfann121 View Post
                      Given ample budgets, I believe almost any movie can be turned into a worthwhile attraction. So if they're going to focus only on their biggest box office hits, at least they should give them the quality attractions they deserve.
                      Like Tomorrowland's big-budget celebration of creative brilliance, Nemo's Underwater DVD Replay.
                      "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
                      Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
                      imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

                      - Neil Gabler

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

                        Originally posted by disneyfann121 View Post
                        In the case of movie franchises, that effect goes into overkill (e.g., Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 are in production).
                        I agree with your overall point, but I do want to point out that, IMHO, Toy Story 2 actually did justice to the original and felt like a fun and natural extension of the series, not an entirely financially-motivated piece of crap.

                        Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                        Like Tomorrowland's big-budget celebration of creative brilliance, Nemo's Underwater DVD Replay.
                        Well, that doesn't prove that some films can't translate into attractions - it just demonstrates that it's always a possibility for things to get screwed up. Finding Nemo probably could have made an excellent attraction. (Although I can imagine some films just wouldn't work too well as attractions.)

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                        • #13
                          Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

                          Originally posted by Datameister View Post
                          Well, that doesn't prove that some films can't translate into attractions - it just demonstrates that it's always a possibility for things to get screwed up. Finding Nemo probably could have made an excellent attraction.
                          Very true. Still, to the previous poster's point of "given ample budgets," the budget and time frame to design and install a new show for the Submarines seemed quite ample.

                          Had the budget been twice as big, I doubt the concept of the attraction would have been twice as innovative, creative and compelling.
                          "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
                          Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
                          imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

                          - Neil Gabler

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

                            One thing i wish is that the imagineers got really creative and CREATED unique ride that arent based off of anything. Obviously it only fits in certain areas but think about POTC, The Madderhorn, and Space Mountain. Completely unique rides and very fun to ride. They created the theme using their heads, not just using a movie storyboard.
                            I do like the concept of being "In" a movie, but i think some are way cool when its a Disneyland exclusive, and you can only experience it THERE.



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                            • #15
                              Re: Should Box Office Performance affect Disneyland Attraction?

                              I'm torn because I love updates and new additions but I am just not a fan of Nemo Subs when they should have just brought back a whole new version of the original subs with new effects and a new storyline that didn't involve Pixar characters.

                              Nemo being the huge hit it is made the return of the subs possible but not in a way I would have personally liked. So I'm torn about it.

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