Lionsgate is opening an amusement park for ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Twilight,’ joining previously announced Lionel Messi and Studio Ghibli offerings in Asia
Updated: August 16, 2017
It’s time to book a flight to Asia and the odds are in your favor.
Lionsgate is opening an outdoor theme park in South Korea’s Jeju Island with zones dedicated to blockbuster hits from the movie studio. The Lionsgate Movie World will include space for “The Hunger Games,” the “Twilight Saga” and the upcoming “Robin Hood,” in which Taron Egerton stars as the hero who popularized stealing from the rich to give to the poor.
The studio boasts that the 1.3 million square feet space is the world’s first outdoor amusement space featuring only gems from the big screen and that the movies converted to rides have grossed nearly $9 billion worldwide. The attractions will include themed restaurants, rides and what Lionsgate calls “4D Intellectual Property reproduced streets and towns.” The park is slated to open in 2019.
Revenue from theme parks is being an increasingly important source of income for media giants, especially following a poor summer movie season ridden with flops. The Walt Disney Co., a pioneer of such attractions, reported in May that revenue from its parks and resorts business rose to $4.3 billion in the second quarter of this year, up 9% from 2016.
Katniss Everdeen and Edward Cullen will join Lionel Messi in a crowded business. This June, a group of Chinese firms and Spanish media giant Mediapro announced plans for a theme park based off the life and career of the F.C. Barcelona forward. The Messi Experience Park, which is slated to open in 2019, will span over 19 acres and host 20 different attractions. Per British broadcaster Sky Sports, the amusement park will use futuristic augmented and virtual reality technology to offer soccer training clinics and displays of the Argentinian wizard’s career highlights.
Messi is almost universally regarded as one of the top two players in the world and has won the Ballon d’Or, soccer’s highest individual honor, five times. The amusement park will be located in Nanjing, a city near Shanghai. The 29-year-old star is big in China, where he has over 22 million fans on Tencent Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service.
“I hope to provide [fans] the experience they never had before and to inspire them to pick up the sport early on,” Messi told reporters during a launch event in China, which he visited earlier this summer. “Hopefully, they will feel that I am around when visiting the park.”
Judging by images of Chinese fans waiting to catch the star, the park is set to be a hit.
Kids in China welcome Leo Messi 🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳 pic.twitter.com/FOY8I1WpT1
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) June 1, 2017
At the same time, Studio Ghibli, the beloved Japanese anime studio best known for “Spirited Away” and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” has said that it will launch a theme park in 2020. The amusement site will be located in Nagoya, a city about 200 miles southwest of Tokyo.
The theme park will take cues from “My Neighbor Totoro,” a 1988 film in which two girls in the countryside befriend a cutesy Snorlax-like creature called Totoro. The Hayao Miyazaki-directed fantasy flick is regarded by critics as one of the best animated movies ever and has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Totoro” is know for its environmentalist themes and to that end, the governor of the province Nagoya is in has said that construction will be planned to avoid felling trees, the BBC reported. The park will sit on the same site as the 2005 Nagoya World Expo, which already had a life-sized replica of a site from the movie. There will be no rides, but fans can wonder around what’s basically a real-life film set.
Of course, they already can’t wait.
Clearly the most important world news in a long time – a Ghibli theme park is opening in Japan in 2020! https://t.co/GPbtoIfY1R
— Aidan Doyle (@aidan_doyle) June 2, 2017
— Chris Vicente (@Data_Dreamer) June 1, 2017
This story was updated on August 16 2017 with news of the Lionsgate Movie World.
© 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved