Actually, maybe we shouldn't. Franchises translate well to theme parks when they offer fantastic settings that fans long to visit, compelling characters with whom we want to spend our time, and thrilling activity that we wish to join. Okay, maybe 50 Shades of Grey satisfies that for some people, but in a theme park, we need to be okay doing all that in public while our friends and family are watching us. So, um, yeah.
We also should offer the Waterworld disclaimer that any source material can provide the inspiration for a great theme park attraction when the right team and talent is involved. The challenge is to find that right moment, that magical place, or that engaging conflict that can spark a wonderful themed experience, despite whatever else might not have worked in the source material.
Still, not every franchise that hits at the box office offers the right combination of elements that helps it translate to theme parks. Here are 10 successful or emerging film franchises that likely wouldn't sell as many tickets or drive as many fans to the parks as they did to theaters.
The horror genre has proven its worth to the theme park industry, thanks to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights and similar events. But while horror fans have shown their eagerness to confront their fears in a theme park setting, park managers probably aren't too eager to offer fans a franchise that has made a theme park one of its most famous killing grounds.
Many theme parks offer stunt shows. And "then something goes terribly wrong" might be the most conventional trope in theme park narratives. So why not bring these two things together and celebrate movie fans' favorite collection of stunts gone wrong? Because, no matter how much parks might be tempted by the thought of luring young fans with a gross-out stunt show, they'd really like to avoid luring OSHA investigators into the park even more.
I don't care about the fava beans and the nice Chianti. No one is eating anything in a Hannibal-themed land.
No theme park is going to build this land for the simple reason that no park needs to. If we really want to see dysfunctional families and laugh at them, that opportunity abounds in theme parks already.
If you're going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in building a permanent home for an entertainment franchise, you probably will want to avoid a franchise whose conclusion enraged nearly its entire fanbase.
Actually, maybe a series of dementia-inducing boxing matches might be the perfect theme for a Vekoma Boomerang, after all.
No... roofies, hookers, and a naked Ken Jeong aren't things that anyone wants to see in a theme park. But, just for laughs, maybe someone at Disney could add a few photos from a cast rager into some unlucky guests' Photopass downloads. Have fun explaining those to the kids!
The Hunger Games
Selected children run for their lives at the start of day, only to end up in a violent battle for a coveted prize? Sounds like the daily race to the Anna and Elsa standby queue. No thanks.
Come with us to a world of sparkly outcasts who suck the life out of everything. Of an experience centered around an inanimate star, incapable of human expression. Of a constant battle to hold back the basic human urge to be spontaneous and live life with abandon. It's the latest chapter in the Twilight Saga... MagicBand.
50 Shades of Grey
If I want to see women chased and tied up by money-grubbing men, I'll go ride "Pirates of the Caribbean." Wait...too soon?Tweet
The Hunger Games is talked about as a theme park attraction. Fans clamor for the on-location sets when the first movie came out. Perhaps Universal can put it in the studios tour as the best option.
Rocky is dead. The musical version didn't last on Broadway. Sylvester Stallone is still looking for a comeback vehicle. I wouldn't bet against him, but without him, it is hard to see how it survives another bout.
Divergent is too much of a Hunger Games rip-off and the movie sucked. I didn't even remember the ending.
Maybe Disney can do a Bachelor or Bachelorette attraction. Singles from around the nation can visit the attraction and get paired up. Should be a better ride than 50 Shades of Pablo.
Hannibal Lecter could be a Halloween Party event at any theme park, but what was once shocking is pretty much tired.
Creed, which has just wrapped recently, and slated for a late 2015 release, is getting some really good buzz.
The Godfather would be a tricky franchise to adapt to a theme park.
Taken would be an awful franchise for a theme park aside from being a generic stunt show.
I'd also suggest that there's a difference between creating a props-and-costumes exhibit for fans and a theme park attraction. Or, at least, there should be. To me, the questions to ask are: "Do I want to be immersed in this world, with these characters? And if I do, what am I going to do when I'm there?" If the answers are "no" or "nothing." then the franchise probably wouldn't make a good attraction.
But if I can milk it for a MagicBand joke, hey, I'm in.
If you're referring to The Hangover attraction at Madame Tussauds, I would argue their exhibits are not behind ropes. You can get close up to the wax figures and there is some immersion in the scenery. You can take photographs with the wax figures and they are amazingly lifelike.
There are also some Hangover tours at Las Vegas. Bus tours, nightclub bar hopping, and Caesar's Palace Hangover tour. They were offered sporatically when the movie sequels premiered.
Perhaps childrens franchises makes more sense than these live action movie franchises. Perhaps there is a middle ground and I'm sure Disney will milk Cinderella, which I recently saw a preview at California Adventure. Full house. Nice special effect of your butt being poked as if there are mouse running around.
I regard Cinderella, Malificent, and Alice in Wonderland as franchises since Disney took its animated movies and branched out into live action. Malificent took lines wholesale from the original animated movies. Alice in Wonderland was a new reinterpretation.
I personally say The Human Centipede would make for a very poor dark ride.
This list is spot on.
James, that would need a "300" photo op, where the cameras automatically Photoshop cut abs on everyone in the picture.
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