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Paramount and Warner Bros Discovery continue to discuss a potential US$38bn merger - here’s what it could mean for the attractions industry | Planet Attractions
     

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Paramount and Warner Bros Discovery continue to discuss a potential US$38bn merger - here’s what it could mean for the attractions industry

Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount are in preliminary talks to merge the two companies. Here’s what such a deal could mean for the attractions industry




A possible merger between Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount could see the integrating of Paramount IP at several Warner Bros. properties

Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global are in preliminary talks over a major deal that could see the two media giants integrated into a single firm with a combined market value of US$38bn (€35bn, £30bn).

According to multiple media reports, a potential merger was discussed by Paramount CEO Bob Bakish and Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav during a meeting at the end of 2023.

The meeting, Axios reports, took place at Paramount’s Time Square headquarters in New York City and lasted several hours, with the pair discussing how the companies could complement each other should a merger occur.

Variety also reported that Zaslav has discussed the potential move with Shari Redstone; non-executive chair of Paramount and president of National Amusements Inc, which owns a controlling stake in Paramount Global.

If successful, the merger will see the media giants “pooling their assets”, with both owning a number of major IPs. Among these, Warner Bros owns properties such as Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, DC Movies and The Lord of the Rings. Meanwhile, Paramount offers access to properties including Star Trek, Terminator, Top Gun, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Godfather, Scream, and A Quiet Place, as well as the entire Nickelodeon portfolio.

While thoughts turned immediately to both companies’ respective streaming platforms; Max and Paramount+, the pooling of these major properties could have interesting and significant implications for the attractions industry.

Warner Bros Parks and Resorts currently operates four theme parks globally, including Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, which forms part of the Yas Island resort in the UAE, and Warner Bros Movie World in Queensland, Australia. Additionally, a number of Warner Bros IPs have significant presence at major parks across the world, including at all Six Flags properties across the US and at Universal’s parks in Japan, China, and the US.

On the Paramount side of things, Paramount Parks has previously operated several theme parks in the US and Canada. The company sold its parks division to Cedar Fair in 2006 with the operator retaining the licensing rights to the Paramount and Nickelodeon names and IP for 10 and four years after the sale respectively. Cedar Fair later waived its rights to the Paramount name in 2007 but retained the Nickelodeon name and IP until 2009.

If successful, the merger could see new attractions, themed around Paramount IPs at the likes of Parque Warner Madrid in Spain and Warner Bros Movie World California in the US. Similarly, Paramount properties, including Paramount Universe in Abu Dhabi, could be expanded to include Warner Bros IPs with new themed attractions.

For integration of these new IPs into existing parks, Disney could serve as the blueprint. In 2009 the company acquired the Marvel host of IPs, followed by the acquisition of the Star Wars brand in 2012. With both of these acquisitions, Disney has not only increased the value of both franchises but also successfully integrated each into its own attractions operations.

Avengers Campus is the immersive Marvel-themed land located at Disney’s California Adventure in the US and the Walt Disney Studio Park at Disneyland Paris in France. A third Marvel-themed land, called Stark Expo, is currently in its second phase of development at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Set inside the “Marvel Theme Park Universe” - an alternate reality where the events of Avengers: Infinity War didn’t occur - Avengers Campus at both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Paris are anchored by Spider-Man W.E.B Adventure, an interactive screen ride where riders are tasked with capturing the Spider-Bots that are causing chaos across the campus.

In addition to Spider-Man W.E.B Adventure, Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure features several landmark attractions, including Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout and a one-act version of Rogers: The Musical seen in Hawkeye, as well as a number of retail outlets and food and beverage stands offering themed merchandise and menu items.

Star Wars: Galaxy Edge is an immersive-themed land at both Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Set on the remote fictional planet of Batuu, the land occupies 14-acre areas in both parks and offers two major attractions: Star Wars: Millennium Falcon - Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, as well as several restaurants and retail outlets offering themed menu items and merchandise.

With these successes acting as a blueprint, IPs with existing large fan bases including The Lord of the Rings , Terminator and John Wick could offer untapped potential for a merged Warner Bros and Paramount. Similarly, Paramount’s horror franchises Scream and A Quiet Place would be primed for seasonal Halloween activations, such as horror mazes.

It’s also worth noting that while the development of Harry Potter-themed attractions would be expected, Universal's exclusive licensing deal with Warner Bros means that it's unlikely that any Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions would open at non-Universal properties in the near future.

While such a merger offers significant potential, analysts believe a merger is unlikely. Both Warner Bros and Paramount continue to explore a deal, however, and if such a move does come to fruition, it would be a very exciting time for the attractions industry.


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Paramount and Warner Bros Discovery continue to discuss a potential US$38bn merger - here’s what it could mean for the attractions industry | Planet Attractions
news

Paramount and Warner Bros Discovery continue to discuss a potential US$38bn merger - here’s what it could mean for the attractions industry

Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount are in preliminary talks to merge the two companies. Here’s what such a deal could mean for the attractions industry




A possible merger between Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount could see the integrating of Paramount IP at several Warner Bros. properties

Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global are in preliminary talks over a major deal that could see the two media giants integrated into a single firm with a combined market value of US$38bn (€35bn, £30bn).

According to multiple media reports, a potential merger was discussed by Paramount CEO Bob Bakish and Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav during a meeting at the end of 2023.

The meeting, Axios reports, took place at Paramount’s Time Square headquarters in New York City and lasted several hours, with the pair discussing how the companies could complement each other should a merger occur.

Variety also reported that Zaslav has discussed the potential move with Shari Redstone; non-executive chair of Paramount and president of National Amusements Inc, which owns a controlling stake in Paramount Global.

If successful, the merger will see the media giants “pooling their assets”, with both owning a number of major IPs. Among these, Warner Bros owns properties such as Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, DC Movies and The Lord of the Rings. Meanwhile, Paramount offers access to properties including Star Trek, Terminator, Top Gun, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Godfather, Scream, and A Quiet Place, as well as the entire Nickelodeon portfolio.

While thoughts turned immediately to both companies’ respective streaming platforms; Max and Paramount+, the pooling of these major properties could have interesting and significant implications for the attractions industry.

Warner Bros Parks and Resorts currently operates four theme parks globally, including Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, which forms part of the Yas Island resort in the UAE, and Warner Bros Movie World in Queensland, Australia. Additionally, a number of Warner Bros IPs have significant presence at major parks across the world, including at all Six Flags properties across the US and at Universal’s parks in Japan, China, and the US.

On the Paramount side of things, Paramount Parks has previously operated several theme parks in the US and Canada. The company sold its parks division to Cedar Fair in 2006 with the operator retaining the licensing rights to the Paramount and Nickelodeon names and IP for 10 and four years after the sale respectively. Cedar Fair later waived its rights to the Paramount name in 2007 but retained the Nickelodeon name and IP until 2009.

If successful, the merger could see new attractions, themed around Paramount IPs at the likes of Parque Warner Madrid in Spain and Warner Bros Movie World California in the US. Similarly, Paramount properties, including Paramount Universe in Abu Dhabi, could be expanded to include Warner Bros IPs with new themed attractions.

For integration of these new IPs into existing parks, Disney could serve as the blueprint. In 2009 the company acquired the Marvel host of IPs, followed by the acquisition of the Star Wars brand in 2012. With both of these acquisitions, Disney has not only increased the value of both franchises but also successfully integrated each into its own attractions operations.

Avengers Campus is the immersive Marvel-themed land located at Disney’s California Adventure in the US and the Walt Disney Studio Park at Disneyland Paris in France. A third Marvel-themed land, called Stark Expo, is currently in its second phase of development at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Set inside the “Marvel Theme Park Universe” - an alternate reality where the events of Avengers: Infinity War didn’t occur - Avengers Campus at both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Paris are anchored by Spider-Man W.E.B Adventure, an interactive screen ride where riders are tasked with capturing the Spider-Bots that are causing chaos across the campus.

In addition to Spider-Man W.E.B Adventure, Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure features several landmark attractions, including Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout and a one-act version of Rogers: The Musical seen in Hawkeye, as well as a number of retail outlets and food and beverage stands offering themed merchandise and menu items.

Star Wars: Galaxy Edge is an immersive-themed land at both Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Set on the remote fictional planet of Batuu, the land occupies 14-acre areas in both parks and offers two major attractions: Star Wars: Millennium Falcon - Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, as well as several restaurants and retail outlets offering themed menu items and merchandise.

With these successes acting as a blueprint, IPs with existing large fan bases including The Lord of the Rings , Terminator and John Wick could offer untapped potential for a merged Warner Bros and Paramount. Similarly, Paramount’s horror franchises Scream and A Quiet Place would be primed for seasonal Halloween activations, such as horror mazes.

It’s also worth noting that while the development of Harry Potter-themed attractions would be expected, Universal's exclusive licensing deal with Warner Bros means that it's unlikely that any Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions would open at non-Universal properties in the near future.

While such a merger offers significant potential, analysts believe a merger is unlikely. Both Warner Bros and Paramount continue to explore a deal, however, and if such a move does come to fruition, it would be a very exciting time for the attractions industry.


 



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2024