The Universal Studios Hollywood version of Harry Potter’s magical kingdom opening April 7 will be less than a third the size of its Orlando counterpart, but Pottermania will prevail, earning the park riches beyond ticket admissions.
According to the Los Angeles Times, industry experts predict a surge in food and merchandise sales, pointing to the success of the 2010 opening of Harry Potter land at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla. While its attendance shot up 20 percent, revenue jumped 41 percent for the year thanks to visitors stocking up on magic wands, Gryffindor robes, chocolate frogs and other Potter-themed souvenirs.
“If the company's Harry Potter debut in Orlando is any indication, the Hollywood opening of the Wizarding World attraction should be massive,” said Nick Petrillo, an analyst for Santa Monica-based research group IBISWorld.
Much is at stake for the theme park's parent company, Comcast Corp., which invested an estimated $500 million to build the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the site of the Gibson Amphitheatre.
The attraction is the latest in a $1.6-billion, 25-year makeover of the park and adjacent studio facilities.
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