Posted Monday, December 1, 2008 10:56 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Paramount Pictures Corp. may build a theme park on the site of the suspended Expoland amusement park in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, according to sources. If the project is realized, the new facility could help boost tourism in the Kansai region in a synergistic effect with Universal Studios Japan, a movie-based theme park in Konohana Ward, Osaka. The 20-hectare site is owned by the Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition '70 and jointly financed by the central and Osaka prefectural governments.
Read more from The Yomiuri Shimbun.
Paramount (or its parents/subsidiaries) just got out of the park biz a few years ago by selling to Cedar Fair. Why would they want to get back into it, even at an international level? Sounds like a strange business decision...
Well, that's complicated. It used to all fall under Viacom, which then split off the non-growth businesses like the parks to CBS Corp. Paramount Pictures stayed with the original Viacom. It was CBS that technically sold the parks. But you're right, it could be argued that if it was important to Viacom, they wouldn't have spun it off in the first place.
Of course, one could also argue that Asia is a very different market from the states. Perhaps it makes more sense there.
I believe part of the reason for the sale was because the US theme park market is slow-growth, which doesn't seem to be the case in Asia.
Part of the reason Expoland failed has to do with the derailment they had on Fujin Raijin II. Their culture sees it as a bad omen or something. Would building a new park on the same spot change their stance on the subject, or is Paramount shooting themselves in the foot by wanting to build there?
Paramount did what they did trying to make movie parks out of existing parks. The result was at best Half Assed. The other problem was they were seasonal in non tourist markets.Starting from scratch in a year round tourism area. Their success is in their own hands and not limited to what the local market can support.Chuck
I hope they can save the park!
Lord knows I didn`t move to Japan to look at SBNO attractions.
"Part of the reason Expoland failed has to do with the derailment they had on Fujin Raijin II. Their culture sees it as a bad omen or something. Would building a new park on the same spot change their stance on the subject, or is Paramount shooting themselves in the foot by wanting to build there?"
I hope to answer this for you, since I live in Japan. From what I heard (don`t quote me on this) from my Japanese co-workers is that 1.) yes it`s extremely bad publicity, because the Japanese demand excellence 2.) the legal fees and fines etc may be much to overcome.
That`s all I have for now, but if you want more, I`ll dig deep!
- Steve in Japan
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