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Friday, September 23, 2011

Why Disney Needs Avatar

I want to start by saying I do not consider myself an Avatar fan.  I enjoyed the movie but I didn’t see it in the theaters and didn’t see it until it after it had been out on blu-ray for a while.

I’ve see a lot of Disney fans who are up in arms over Avatar coming to the Animal Kingdom.  Many of them keep making the same argument over and over again.  With so many in house products why would you need to go outside?  Granted that is a valid point.  Disney does have many franchises that would have fit nicely into the Animal Kingdom.  However that argument overlooks one very important fact.
When Universal built their little Harry Potter land they did something different.  Instead of building an attraction or land in an attempt to get Universal fans into the parks they built a land to get Harry Potter fans into the park.  In the past many theme parks built a themed attraction to drawn in people.  When you build an entire land you don’t just pull in your fans you pull in a whole new batch of fans.
If Disney had used an internal product they would have attracted Disney fans.  By building an Avatar land they are attracting Avatar fans.  There is a good chance that some of those fans never considered going to Disney before.  If Disney wants to boost their theme park attendance they need new blood.  Avatar draws that new blood.
Who is that new blood?  Disney has tried and failed over and over again to nab one vital demographic that everyone wants.  Teen to young adult males is that demographic.  Think about: Race to Witch Mountain – Fail, Tron Legacy – Fail, Insert Disney Live Action Film Here – Fail.  Guess who likes Avatar.
Disney fans can complain all they want.  The fact of the matter is this land is not being built for Disney fans.  Disney already has us.  We are getting the Fantasy Land expansion.  That was for us.  Avatar is for the soon to be Disney fans.  It’s the hook to pull in a whole new group of people.

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