SeaWorld keeps digging themselves deeper and deeper in the hole.
Last month they came out with eight assertions regarding the documentary Blackfish. Those were soon proven wrong by David Kirby, author of Death at SeaWorld, and the Blackfish film itself. The controversy spawned a media flurry, only drawing more attention to the film and the absurdity of the assertions.
This week, Orlando Sentinel’s Jason Garcia reported that SeaWorld’s 2nd quarter earnings have tanked. SeaWorld lost $15.9 million in their second quarter. Total revenue slipped 3 percent. Total attendance dropped 9% during the quarter.
In true SeaWorld style, they listed several excuses for the loss, mainly the unusual rain in Florida. Really??? Neither Disney nor Universal cited weather as a factor in their earnings. Poor weather in Virginia and an early Easter holiday were other excuses listed.
SeaWorld also said that part of the loss was intentional due to their recently raised ticket prices. Costs associated with the recent stock offering also contributed to the loss.
SeaWorld believes that the new Antactica: Empire of the Penguin is going to make up for the loss in upcoming months, but the attraction has gotten mixed reviews and Blackfish continues to gain momentum, passing the $1 million at the box office last weekend.
The New York Times has reported that Blackfish has also caused Pixar to review and change the ending to the upcoming sequel of “Finding Nemo”, which initially had an ending involving a marine park. Pixar has decided to rewrite that part of the story so that fish and mammals have the option to leave. Although it is still confusing as to WHY an animal would CHOOSE to live in a marine park, but the change is still a positive one, none the less.
This could get very interesting as Pixar is included in Walt Disney Studios. Disney’s Epcot theme park houses dolphins in it’s Living Seas exhibit. Perhaps this will cause them to reflect on the inappropriate nature of having these dolphins on display.