Universal Studios Japan is planning to open the first Harry Potter theme park outside the United States, in Osaka, Japan, after an investment estimated at $500 million. The construction could begin in the next weeks and the park should be inaugurated in late 2014.
Japan is an attractive market for the owners of the Harry Potter rights. The eight Potter movie series cashed almost $900 million in Japan, more than in Great Britain.
Since the series is complete, revenues began to drop worldwide, and Warner Bros., the owner of licensing rights to the Harry Potter books, has found the theme parks solution.
“This type of immersion is what the fans crave more than buying traditional merchandise,” said Brad Globe, president at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Our strategy is focused on theme parks because it’s a different experience. They’ve read the books and seen the movies, but now they can enter the world.”
Another theme park is planned by Disney in Shanghai. The project recently received a $2 billion loan which will cover the development of a nearby tourism zone. The Shanghai theme park, which is estimated to cost 24.5 billion yuan ($3.9 billion) will feature hotels and additional facilities worth an additional 4.5 billion yuan ($713 million).