Lionsgate Is Getting Into the Theme Park Business in a Big Way
Have you ever wanted to participate in The Hunger Games? To know what it feels like to suffer under the boot of a brutal dystopian dictator, only to die in savage combat? Who doesn’t? Well soon you will be able to achieve this beautiful dream of gruesome and horrifying death! In theme park form!
A new report in The New York Times says that Lionsgate, the studio behind the Hunger Games franchise, is diving headfirst into the lucrative but competitive world of theme parks. The studio is planning two different parks, one in the U.S. and one in China, on top of previous announced Hunger Games stage shows and a “$3 billion entertainment complex” already under construction in the United Arab Emirates.
The Lionsgateland (or whatever it will ultimately be called) will not just feature rides based on the soul-crushing horrors of The Hunger Games. According to the Times, many of the studio’s most popular franchises will be included:
The theme park deals also call for Step Up dance shows and attractions based on the studio’s Divergent movies and the film Now You See Me, about a troupe of illusionists who are implicated in a heist. Lionsgate also hopes to bring its Twilight series to theme parks.
But why stop there? Here are a few other possible ideas for attractions based on Lionsgate hits:
- The Haunted Hostel
- The Expendables Stunt Show
- Crash Bumper Cars
- Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 Presents the Hall of Most Hated Presidents
- Precious: The Ride: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire
You will note that Lionsgate’s property roster does not feature many animated or children’s films, which typically form the backbone of this kind of movie-inspired theme park. That could be an issue, or it could inspire this particular establishment to cater to an older audience.
The Times also notes that Lionsgate is merely licensing its characters to developers, who are in charge of raising the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to build these elaborate theme parks, and then to staff and run them. The article also says they tried to get some Hunger Games rides off the ground with existing theme park operators (likely Universal), who were “not overly encouraging” about the property’s prospects. I can’t imagine why. Lionsgate’s U.S. destination, which is called Avatron Smart Park, is scheduled to open by 2019.