'Huge opportunity for Marvel' at Shanghai Disney, says Iger
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'Huge opportunity for Marvel' at Shanghai Disney, says Iger

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There are great opportunities long term given the affinity people have in China for these characters. That's a hint to our parks and resorts group. We should be hard at work already designing and developing a Marvel presence in Shanghai

Disney+'>Disney chair and CEO Bob Iger, has hinted at an expanded Marvel presence for its Shanghai theme park in China, with the brand currently booming as its latest blockbuster – Avengers: Endgame – continues to surge at the box office.

Speaking during an earnings call, Iger revealed that regulations in China were limiting Disney's distribution of over-the-top media such as its upcoming Disney+ subscription service in the country. Iger also revealed that Avengers: Endgame has made more than US$600m (€536.2m, £461.8m) in the Chinese box office alone, showing the strength of the brand in China. This success on screen, says Iger, will flow down into Disney's parks.

"As it relates specifically to Shanghai Disney, we have a huge opportunity for Marvel there," he said.

"When we began designing the park, we'd only just purchased Marvel and we weren't really in early enough to do it, so we built something somewhat temporary in nature – just a tent that features Marvel franchises and characters.

"But there are great opportunities long term given the affinity people have in China for these characters. That's a hint to our parks and resorts group. We should be hard at work already designing and developing a Marvel presence in Shanghai."

The park's existing Marvel Universe attraction is set in the park's Gardens of Imagination. Inside, visitors can explore the world of Marvel, as well as get the chance to virtually try on an Iron Man suit and fight off an army of enemies, including Hulk. Guests can also enjoy Marvel-inspired merchandise, food and drink, as well as take part in an Avengers training session with characters such as Iron Man, Black Panther and Captain Marvel.

Iger hinted at the plans as Disney revealed its results for the last quarter, with the company's Parks, Experiences and Products division increasing revenues for the period by 5 per cent to US$6.2bn (€5.4bn, £4.8bn), with operating income increasing 15 per cent to US$1.5bn (€1.3bn, £1.15bn).

The increases were attributed to growth at Disney's domestic theme parks and resorts, increases in its consumer products business and cruise line and higher attendance and occupied room nights at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Results at Shanghai Disney were comparable to the prior-year quarter as an increase from higher average ticket prices was largely offset by lower attendance.

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Disney chair and CEO Bob Iger, has hinted at an expanded Marvel presence for its Shanghai theme park in China, with the brand currently booming as its latest blockbuster – Avengers: Endgame – continues to surge at the box office.
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