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Alec Vergara

The Lorax coming to Islands of Adventure Summer 2015

Published: July 2, 2014 at 6:02 AM

For several years now Universal creative team has pitched several ideas for a new attraction for the dead space in Dr. Suess land. First, there were huge plans underway for a Smurfs attraction to come to Universal Studios, but those plans were scrapped after negative reviews for the Smurfs 2 film. Such negative reviews that plans for a Smurfs 3 were cancelled and now the plans is to reboot the series already go figure... Then they pitched the idea of a Hortons Hears a Who attraction when that didn't happen they pitched an idea for a Mount Crumpet Grinch ride.

Now Universal Creative seems to have finally settled on a plan. Soon we will see a Lorax attraction coming to Islands of Adventure expected Summer 2015.

What do you think?

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Replies (20)

Anon Mouse

Published: July 2, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Lorax also flopped at the box office.

Why can't they just come up with a ride using the Dr. Seuss characters? They don't need to have a movie or television series to sell it. There are many Dr. Seuss characters and books to base a ride.

Court E

Published: July 2, 2014 at 8:47 AM

And your info comes from? There are no permits nor was there an announcement to confirm this.
Russell Meyer
Writer

Published: July 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Having a movie already means they can sell merch easier, and the attraction could be integrated into future sequels. I think it makes a lot of sense, and it helps that the Lorax already makes appearances in the park, unlike Horton and other Seuss characters not used in IOA attractions/events.

Think of a movie as a test market. A successful/profitable movie means that the concept/character has legs and at least could generate some traction in a theme park. A non-profitable movie means that either the production was mismanaged or the concept is not popular enough to warrant further investment. An unsuccessful film doesn't necessarily mean that an attraction won't be successful, but it gives executives a more secure feeling when green-lighting a project based on a profitable film.

Alec Vergara

Published: July 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Eric Davis of the Orlandoparkhopper.com
he's a column writter from universal
James Trexen

Published: July 2, 2014 at 9:49 AM

The Lorax was anything but a flop at the box office. However, if a ride were to open next year, it'd have to begin construction yesterday.
Anon Mouse

Published: July 2, 2014 at 10:09 AM. Edited: July 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Yeah, I was wrong. Lorax did not flop at the box office. It was quite successful. $200 million domestic. $300 million world wide box office. #1 for two weekends. In the second weekend, it trounced John Carter. Perhaps Lorax is more than just a good movie and ride material, it's a reminder that Disney blew it with its remarkable flops of late.
Russell Meyer
Writer

Published: July 2, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Horton Hears a Who did $154 million domestic and just under $300 million worldwide on a $85 million budget (Jim Carey probably had a lot to do with that) in 2008, while Lorax did $214 million domestic and nearly $350 million worldwide on a $70 million budget in 2012.

They're both pretty successful, but Lorax would be the obvious choice.

Meanwhile, the awful Cat in the Hat (Mike Myers) did $101 million domestic and $133 million worldwide in 2003 on a $109 million budget, and the O.K. Grinch (Jim Carey and Ron Howard) did $260 million domestic and $345 million worldwide on a $123 million budget in 2000. BTW, Universal has slotted for another Grinch movie (CG animation) for release in November 2017.

So, the Lorax is pretty easily the most profitable Seuss movie of all time, and it makes sense for Universal to at least explore the idea of adding something more than a walk around character for Seuss Landing. It is currently the #22 ranked animated film all time (based on domestic box), ahead of movies like Tangled, Ratatouille, Happy Feet, Cars 2, Wreck it Ralph, and all of the Ice Age movies.

Russell Meyer
Writer

Published: July 2, 2014 at 10:38 AM. Edited: July 2, 2014 at 10:42 AM

"Remarkable flops of late"

I assume you're referring to John Carter and The Lone Ranger. John Carter (the director's cut version on Blu) is actually a really good film, but Disney really blew the marketing, and the distancing from the source material annoyed loyal sci-fi fans. However, the film played much better overseas to break even with $284 million on a $250 million budget (much of that because of production delays and multiple rewrites/recasting/reshooting).

The Lone Ranger was a botch because of Johnny Depp. Casting him as Tonto destroyed any chance of Gore Virbinsky making a sensible film about the iconic character. It too did make up much of its domestic losses overseas with a final worldwide box of $260 million on a $215 million budget.

Aside from that I cannot recall too many Disney "flops". Million Dollar Arm did a respectable $35 million on a $25 million budget.

Captain America is still the highest grossing movie of the year so far at $257 million domestic and $711 million worldwide on a $170 million budget.

Maleficent outperformed expectations, and has hauled in $203 million (and counting) domestically and almost $600 million worldwide on a $180 million budget.

Muppets Most Wanted underperformed a bit, but did out earn its $50 million budget with $51 million domestic and $78 million worldwide.

In 2013, Oz the Great and Powerful didn't do as well as projected with $234 million domestic and $493 worldwide on a $215 million budget, but that was offset by the success of Iron Man 3, which was the highest grossing movie of the year with $1.2 billion in worldwide box.

Not every movie is a winner, but Disney has been doing pretty well for itself over the past couple of years.

Duncan Henny

Published: July 2, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I hope they bring How to train your Dragon to Universal studios and do something with that
Court E

Published: July 2, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Still doesn't change the fact nothing has been set in stone and no permits have been filed that we are aware of. Currently this is just "blue sky" talk and nothing more. It's similar to King Kong. There was talk for years to bring it back to Universal Orlando Resort, but until permits are filed nothing can be garunteed.

If there is any truth to this rumor, it's more likely ground breaking would begin in 2015, as opposed to the attraction opening in 2015.

James Trexen

Published: July 2, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Russell, don't forget that movies have to earn about two times their budget to cover marketing and distribution costs. Heck, Hollywood is so secretive in financing that even Forrest Gump lost money. Just about every film you listed was or will be a tax write-off.
Anon Mouse

Published: July 2, 2014 at 11:13 AM. Edited: July 2, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Disney did not break even with John Carter. "$284 million on a $250 million budget" is not close to break even after accounting for marketing and subtracting for the theater's cut, which is 50% for the first few weeks. It gets better for the movie studios when the movie lasts longer at the theaters.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/200-million-write-down-for-john-carter-disney-says/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

You have to do the math for the later pictures, but Disney said it had to write off the Lone Ranger.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/08/disney-expects-to-write-down-as-much-as-190m-for-lone-ranger/

I don't believe Muppets Most Wanted and Million Dollar Arm earned its budget back.

It is pretty obvious that the pictures that did well are Marvel (Iron Man, Captain America, etc), Maleficent, and Oz.

Rob Pastor

Published: July 2, 2014 at 12:25 PM

The talk of a Lorax attraction was nearly a year ago and is presently old news. That was evidently nixed when Universal Creative decided on Kong for IOA opening in 2015 or 2016. As a previous writer stated, there are no permits or construction evident at this time. The expansion plot at Seuss Landing remains untouched.
Alec Vergara

Published: July 2, 2014 at 1:38 PM. Edited: July 2, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Let me clarify something everyone I mistakenly put expected 2015. Yes 2015 is the expected date of breaking ground so I'm sorry for the confusion. It's not just "blue sky" talk I felt that it was an interesting article to write if the Lorax does happen I'm pretty excited about it. I felt like it was an interesting piece that peek your interest I hope you all have enjoyed. Btw Comcast gave universal the green light on this and invested 500 million in future projects and one of that is being used for the Lorax.
Andrew Dougherty

Published: July 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

$500,000,000 for a Lorax ride. Wow. That must be some completely insanely hi-tech incredible ride there. Even Harry Potter Hogsmade was only around $200 million to build. No way they put $500 million into Lorax.
Alec Vergara

Published: July 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM. Edited: July 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Keyword one of the projects will be the lorax with the 500 hundred million
Tyler Harris

Published: July 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Henry- Me too for using something involving How to Train your Dragon.
The Lorax was an OK film, but the best Dr.Seuss film, which isn't saying too much. I don't really want a Lorax ride at IOA, but I kind of under stand thier motives.
Oscar Marquez

Published: July 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Tyler, How to Train your Dragon does not fit in Universal Studios. It only need an Area, themed to Berk. It will be full of Animatronic Dragons, 2 rides (a coaster and a flying motion simulator ride like Soarin')

How to Train your Dragon coaster would be like Manta in SeaWorld San Diego, A multi-Launching Coaster, where you can enter to the projected tunnel, then you would Launch.

It also needs SPACE for the Dragon coaster

Oscar Marquez

Published: July 3, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Did I forget to mention that you can see Toothless flying at night?
Alec Vergara

Published: July 7, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Yes, I just saw How to train your dragon 2 over the weekend, and I like it a lot. It could make a great theme park ride.

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