Universal theme park owner Comcast reported increased revenue from its theme parks in 2019... and confirmed that Super Nintendo World will be one of the themed lands at its new Epic Universe theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort.
That the Nintendo land would be coming to Orlando wasn't really news... Universal announced that way back in 2016. But it never officially announced where that land would go into the Universal Orlando Resort. When Universal announced its Epic Universe park last August, its concept art for the park strongly suggested that Super Nintendo World would be one of the lands, and Universal team members have all but confirmed that privately. Still, it's nice to get the information officially out there for fans.
On the theme park business, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said during this morning's earnings conference call, "this year, we will open Super Nintendo World in Japan, which launches in the US to follow in the coming years. Super Nintendo World combines one of a kind right technology with iconic IP, for a remarkable guests experience and we believe it has the potential to drive substantial incremental attendance at Universal Studios Japan. On top of that, we are also investing for long term growth with two amazing brand new parks. We'll open Beijing in 2021, the largest park we have ever built. And have started construction on Universal's Epic Universe, a new world class park in Orlando, opening in 2023. The parks business is set up for growth for years to come."
Another executive added, in response to a question from a Wall Street analyst, "If you look out, I think the next big thing on the horizon is Nintendo. Nintendo, based on our research, is one of the biggest potential drivers of attendance that you could have for any IP. It's up there with Harry Potter, which you know, drove incremental attendance of about two million people, so Nintendo is in very rarefied air, and the attraction that we're building in in Osaka is spectacular. From a creative standpoint, it's really unbelievable, and that opens sometime mid-year this year. Then we're going to bring it to Hollywood and we're going to bring it in the fourth gate in in Florida, so I think Nintendo is going to be potentially a big accelerator within the theme park business."
As for the numbers, Comcast reported a 3.2 percent increase in revenue at its theme parks in the fourth quarter of 2019, to $1.562 billion. Earnings were down 4.5 percent in the quarter, though, to $636 million, with "some softness" at Universal Japan in the quarter.Tweet
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