Dis­ney gam­bles on Avatar theme park, 8 years af­ter hit movie

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/Entertainment -

NEW YORK — Dis­ney has wa­gered a re­ported $500 mil­lion that peo­ple will line up for a new the­mepark at­trac­tion based on the 2009 movie “Avatar,’’ which has largely faded from pop-cul­ture con­scious­ness.

The new park, based on the movie’s bi­o­lu­mi­nes­cent world of Pan­dora, rep­re­sents a ma­jor gam­ble, even by Dis­ney stan­dards. Dis­ney is racing to catch up with ri­val Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, whose hit Harry Pot­ter park opened in 2010. The “Avatar’’ at­trac­tion, for­mally known as “Pan­dora - World of Avatar,’’ opens May 27 at Dis­ney’s Animal King­dom park in Florida. But there won’t be an “Avatar’’ se­quel un­til at least 2020. Dis­ney wants to prove it can also turn its newer cul­tural prop­er­ties, which in­clude “Star Wars’’ and the Mar­vel su­per­hero fran­chise, into pop­u­lar park at­trac­tions.

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