Licensing Deal To Bring ‘Avatar’ to Disney Theme Parks

The Walt Disney Company, Fox Filmed Entertainment and filmmaker James Cameron today announced a partnership to develop theme park attractions based on the Canadian-born director’s 2009 hit movie Avatar.

The deal grants Disney exclusive worldwide theme park rights to the Avatar franchise.  The first attraction is expected at Disney’s Animal Kingdom resort in Florida.  Construction is scheduled for some time in 2013.

In addition to securing rights, Disney has hired Cameron and his company Lightstorm Entertainment to consult on the design and development of the attractions.

Intellectual property licensing and acquisitions are playing an increasing role in the entertainment world.  In 2009, Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment for US$4-billion. In the deal, Disney gained ownership over more than 5,000 comic book characters.