Steven Spielberg buyout clause weighs on Universal refinancing

Full story: Orlando Sentinel

A s Universal Orlando works to beat an April 1 , 2010, deadline to refinance nearly $1 billion of debt, the obstacles include not only general turmoil in the credit markets but also a clause in Universal's consulting contract with Steven Spielberg that as of June 2010 allows the world-famous director-producer to demand a potentially lucrative ...
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21 - 37 of 37 Comments Last updated Apr 15, 2009
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Keith

Sterling Heights, MI

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#23
Apr 9, 2009
 
Cathy wrote:
Some guy writes some stupid movies and gets paid millions to let people 'ride' them. Seems dumb to me. I know it's a 'theme' park but I'd rather pay less and just enjoy the rides. I don't care about a theme especially when it costs that much. There is definitely something wrong with our society when one can make so much. So no one else could write a movie about a big shark or an alien???? I think those were his movies but I don't really know...or care!
Ignorance is bliss.

As for the comment up above about people not caring about legends anymore. I do agree - which is why Universal needs to find a way to actually spice up their beloved attractions without changing the heart/core of it. What happened to Earthquake was, in my opinion, a genius idea. They kept the heart of it, but changed the story around to fit our times. Bravo!

And using that philosophy you used, why is GREAT MOVIE RIDE still popular at Disney Studios?!?
Richard

Saint Cloud, FL

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#24
Apr 9, 2009
 
Keith wrote:
And using that philosophy you used, why is GREAT MOVIE RIDE still popular at Disney Studios?!?
Because The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, and John Wayne are more ingrained in the public consciousness than Earthquake and Alfred Hitchcock.

Plus, Great Movie Ride really isn't all that great anyway. It's popular because it's a ride in a Disney park.
Windermere Reader

United States

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#25
Apr 9, 2009
 
Are they nuts wrote:
How can a company like Universal give so much of its revenue and power away to one person?
Good question. The answer is that at the time Universal was so desperate to stick it to Disney and Michael Eisner--and they were so convinced they would bury Walt Disney World--they made a foolish bargain.

Remember that, as Universal tells it, Michael had agreed to do a studio theme park in collaboration with Universal. When Michael decided Disney would create its own studio theme park (using the MGM name), Universal was furious and vowed revenge.

Revenge does not usually lead to astute judgment or critical thinking.

The competitive landscape in American business will undergo dramatic change in the next three years, as Faustian bargains come back to destroy those who made them.

Let's see if Homer Simpson can outrun Darwin.
ADD

United States

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#26
Apr 9, 2009
 
well he's not hurtin for money is he?
Leon

Indialantic, FL

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#28
Apr 9, 2009
 
Slimey Republican wrote:
Universal need to develop stuff and reinvest more at the park here instead of opening parks overseas. Especially in hell holes like Dubai or Singapore.
I'm guessing you're one of those idiots who has an opinion about every country on earth but has never left the continental US?

Dubai: 3 words: indoor skiing resort

Haven't been to Singapore so I can't comment, but I hear it's great.
Do not worry

United States

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#29
Apr 9, 2009
 
Bob Iger will come up with the needed cash to get Spielberg to wear Mouse Ears; partly from the cash he is saving on the backs of its laid-off Cast Members.
Attractions Lover

Orange City, FL

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#30
Apr 9, 2009
 
Carrie wrote:
"Universal need to develop stuff and reinvest more at the park here"?????
What the heck do you call Rip Ride and Rockit or Harry Potter Land? Do you not feel that the millions of dollars they are spending on those 2 attractions is enough??? Meanwhile, Disney charges more and is not building a damn thing.. go figure. Make sure you know your facts before you post!!!
Toy Story Midway Mania. The American Idol Experience. Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure. Block Party Bash. Space Mountain Rehab. Not to mention the handful of attractions currently being designed behind the scenes.

Disney's "not building a damn thing," eh? Perhaps you, my friend, should gather your facts before you post.
Movie Fan

Orange City, FL

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#31
Apr 9, 2009
 
Keith wrote:
<quoted text>
Ignorance is bliss.
As for the comment up above about people not caring about legends anymore. I do agree - which is why Universal needs to find a way to actually spice up their beloved attractions without changing the heart/core of it. What happened to Earthquake was, in my opinion, a genius idea. They kept the heart of it, but changed the story around to fit our times. Bravo!
And using that philosophy you used, why is GREAT MOVIE RIDE still popular at Disney Studios?!?
Because The Great Movie Ride is the heart and soul of Disney's Hollywood Studios. Before they placed the silly Sorcerer's Hat in front of the attraction, The Great Movie Ride used to be the center of the theme park, the first attraction you saw while walking down Hollywood Blvd. The ride features classic movies, movies that are studied in film schools across the country. Can't exactly say that about The Hulk, Spiderman, Twister, or Earthquake...
Cheech

United States

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#32
Apr 9, 2009
 
Eaglecoach wrote:
Maybe he would loan the OCPS some money as he is doing better than them
Yeah, that'd be because government can't create wealth.
Cheech

United States

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#33
Apr 9, 2009
 
Jack wrote:
... just brain storming, with all of those Spielberg attractions in two different parks, maybe they ought to rename it, "Steve Spielberg World". I don't know. Steve's good, but it just doesn't have the same ring as "Walt Disney World."
Yeah...and then those Manning boys would have been smilin in the camera and saying:

"I'm going to SpielbergWorld!"
Keith

Sterling Heights, MI

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#34
Apr 9, 2009
 
Movie Fan wrote:
<quoted text>
Can't exactly say that about The Hulk, Spiderman, Twister, or Earthquake...
I guess that shower-scene attraction during the Hitchcock show wasn't 'historical' enough to be kept, eh? I know about the 'classics'. I only ask about GMR, not knocking it down or anything (my all time favorite attraction at Disney - and if you are a cast member, I highly recommend doing GMR-Stride - you get to learn A LOT of dirt about it). I was just pointing it out in regards to people not caring about classic movies, and yet Disney still has GMR.*WINK*

Twister or Hulk may not be CLASSIC Universal flicks. BUT, Hitchcock/Back to the Future were. And King Kong WAS a CLASSIC Universal attraction.

Here...a good read! ;-)

http://www.totallyfuncompany.com/kongmedia/ar...
GalFriday

Chicago, IL

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#35
Apr 10, 2009
 
Richard wrote:
<quoted text>
The problem is, tourists don't care about that history. It didn't matter that Alfred Hitchcock was a filmmaking legend -- people weren't going to the Hitchcock show anymore, and those that were weren't enjoying it. Nobody remembers the movie Earthquake anymore, so a ride called "Earthquake" wasn't a big draw. I remember seeing the Humphrey Bogart character walking around the park and kids running after him shouting "Indiana Jones!!!" You can cling to your past or you can look to your future.
That's odd. Bogart was a contract player at Warners. Why would they have him roaming Universal?
John Doe

Denver, CO

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#36
Apr 10, 2009
 
Universal's problem is that many of its rides are out dated. They need some updates with more current themes. Twister??? when did that come out in theaters again. I could see the strings the last time I was there. JAWS!?!? I am not even going to comment on that. Men in Black??? well on that one I hear they are making a new one so that one could get a pass. How about a Fast and Furious ride. That movie made $73 million in the first weekend. There is your ride. However IOA is adding Harry Potter Land which hoepefully will open in 2010 pending this little problem. Either way Universal needs to step it up or they are going to get stepped on. MAke me excited Universal and on't take my Harry Potter away from me. Oh and they better have a life size Hogwarts in there or I am going to boycott. LOL
Richard

Saint Cloud, FL

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#37
Apr 13, 2009
 
Thing is, you can't go leaping after the newest hot commodity every time. Jaws may be an old film, but it's a classic that nearly everybody knows. I don't know if people will still remember Fast and Furious 30 years from now the way they do Jaws.
John Doe

Denver, CO

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#38
Apr 14, 2009
 
Richard wrote:
Thing is, you can't go leaping after the newest hot commodity every time. Jaws may be an old film, but it's a classic that nearly everybody knows. I don't know if people will still remember Fast and Furious 30 years from now the way they do Jaws.
A great point either way they need to refresh a little.

Since: Aug 08

Winter Springs, FL

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#39
Apr 14, 2009
 
Richard wrote:
Thing is, you can't go leaping after the newest hot commodity every time. Jaws may be an old film, but it's a classic that nearly everybody knows. I don't know if people will still remember Fast and Furious 30 years from now the way they do Jaws.
They switched King Kong (a classic) for The Mummy (so-so) a few years ago. The ride is pretty good.

But how are you supposed to predict which movies will become classics? And which classic movies are appropriate for an amusement park ride or attraction?

Would you honestly want to ride on the Citizen Kane ride?

They do need to update some stuff, but the main problem is that they have not even maintained what they have, and the service runs from HORRIBLE to completely ABSENT on some of these rides.

But of course, if you have never been there, then it's all new to you, and that is probably what they are counting on. For example, those of us who are sick and tired of the Jaws ride, now have kids who have never been on it. But let's see how a kid who has never seen the movie is going to react to the ride.
John Doe

United States

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#40
Apr 15, 2009
 
Dr_Dolittle wrote:
<quoted text>
They switched King Kong (a classic) for The Mummy (so-so) a few years ago. The ride is pretty good.
But how are you supposed to predict which movies will become classics? And which classic movies are appropriate for an amusement park ride or attraction?
Would you honestly want to ride on the Citizen Kane ride?
They do need to update some stuff, but the main problem is that they have not even maintained what they have, and the service runs from HORRIBLE to completely ABSENT on some of these rides.
But of course, if you have never been there, then it's all new to you, and that is probably what they are counting on. For example, those of us who are sick and tired of the Jaws ride, now have kids who have never been on it. But let's see how a kid who has never seen the movie is going to react to the ride.
Totally agree, Universal seems to be banking on the new visitor, but how long can that last. Many of the kids that come to the park have never even seen Twister for example. IOA is much more up to date as far as ride themes go and Universal needs to follow its lead. Another question although the Mummy ride is very cool why that movie??? I still think they need a Fast and Furious ride. An idea for it - have the guests sit two parallel simulated F&F cars (Supra and Charger) and do a drag race on the street then at the end of the race have the cops show up and chase you and you narrowly escape. It will be like dueling dragons with the two coasters that go in different directions but not a coaster. That would draw people with the right special effects.

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