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Wanda’s Legendary Entertainment acquisition leads to Jurassic World theme park speculation

Wanda’s Legendary Entertainment acquisition leads to Jurassic World theme park speculation
January 8, 2016

Dalian Wanda’s US$3.5 billion acquisition of Hollywood movie studio Legendary Entertainment, is leading to speculation that it will develop a Jurassic World theme park on the Gold Coast as well as a range of other future entertainment projects.

Producer of films including Jurassic World, The Dark Knight and Godzilla, Legendary’s IPs will now be available to Wanda’s theme park and attractions division.

This has led to Australian media speculation that the company’s previously announced plans to develop a theme park on the Gold Coast will now be a Jurassic World themed attraction.

Over recent days, the Gold Coast Bulletin has published a headline ‘Billionaire plans to open Jurassic theme park on the Gold Coast’ while the normally more sober Australian Financial Review has reported ‘Could China's Dalian Wanda bring Jurassic Park to Australia?’.

Owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, the Dalian Wanda Group is already developing more than a dozen themed cultural attractions in China, where it is aiming to rival the soon-to-open Disneyland Shanghai Resort, and has previously purchased US cinema chain AMC Entertainment and Australia's largest cinema company Hoyts.

The developer has already committed $1.7 billion to the Australian property market, including a $900 million residential and hotel project called ‘Jewel’ on the Gold Coast, and is currently in negotiations with the Queensland Government over its plans to develop a theme park on the Gold Coast – although it is unclear whether it aims to build an all-new attraction or whether it will buy an existing park and expand it.

Should Wanda Group successfully build a theme park on the Gold Coast, Citi analyst Sam Teeger has said it could potentially hurt the earnings of existing Gold Coast theme park operators Village Roadshow and Ardent Leisure.

Teeger said Village could see earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation decline 14% and 4% for Village and Ardent respectively.

Teeger explained “we see Village as more exposed than Ardent given we expect Gold Coast theme parks will represent about 50% of Village's fiscal year 2020 EBITDA compared to about 15% for Ardent."

He also estimated that a new theme park would have to grow the Gold Coast market by about 45% in order for Ardent and Village to offset the potential negative earnings impact.

Currently IP relating to the Jurassic Park/World movie franchise is licensed to Universal Studios which operates Jurassic Park themed rides at attractions in the USA, Europe, Japan and Singapore.

Nigel Benton, Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Image: Jurassic Park rides feature at Universal Studios' attractions around the world.

4th January 2016 - DALIAN WANDA’S GOLD COAST THEME PARK PLAN WOULD HIT EXISTING ATTRACTIONS

19th December 2015 - MELBOURNE MUSEUM TO HOST WORLD PREMIERE OF ‘JURASSIC WORLD: THE EXHIBITION’

12th November 2015 - WANDA GROUP PLAN NEW GOLD COAST THEME PARK

5th September 2015 - MORE THAN 50 THEME PARKS UNDER DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

9th February 2015 - HOYTS CINEMAS SOLD TO CHINESE-BACKED ID LEISURE VENTURES

6th December 2011 - TUTANKHAMUN BREAKS BOX OFFICE RECORDS FOR MELBOURNE 

28th May 2011 - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE’S GRAND OPENING AT RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA 

2nd November 2010 - MELBOURNE MUSEUM SECURES KING TUT


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