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Disney to build 'Avatar' attraction in theme parks

GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) -- The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday that it has agreed on an exclusive deal to build attractions based on James Cameron's "Avatar" at its theme parks, starting with Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla.

The first "Avatar" land, which begins construction in 2013 and is expected to open about three years later, is to be an immersive experience in a land spanning several acres. It will cost around $400 million.

Tom Staggs, Disney's chairman of parks and resorts, said the land would be similar in scope to Cars Land, a 12-acre area based on the town of Radiator Springs in Disney/Pixar's "Cars" movies. Cars Land is to open next summer at California Adventure Park in Anaheim.

Cameron said the attractions based on the top-grossing film of all time would bring the lush, bioluminescent planet of Pandora to life and would include animatronics and 3-D and holographic technology.

Fans of the film have said they wanted to visit Pandora, he said.

Robert Iger (right), president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company and filmmaker James Cameron announce plans to open an Avatar-themed land, first at Animal Kindgom at Walt Disney World in Florida, and later at other Disney theme parks, at a news conference at Disney Imagineering in Glendale, Calif., Tuesday.(AP)
Robert Iger (right), president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company and filmmaker James Cameron announce plans to open an Avatar-themed land, first at Animal Kindgom at Walt Disney World in Florida, and later at other Disney theme parks, at a news conference at Disney Imagineering in Glendale, Calif., Tuesday.(AP)


"The scenes that people liked best were not the obvious things like the big battle scenes," Cameron said. "It was the creatures, it was learning to fly, it was being in the forest at night.

"So here's an opportunity ... to bring this world to life and get you to wander in it and see things you didn't see in either in the first film or the subsequent two."

Cameron is working on the second and third installments of "Avatar," to be released in December 2014 and December 2015. The park will include elements of the second and third films and elements that aren't included in any of the films.

The first installment of "Avatar" was a 3-D movie about a race of blue-skinned Na'vi who defend the moon they live on from invading humans. It has grossed about $2.8 billion in theaters worldwide since its December 2009 release and has brought in many millions more from home video sales.

News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox, the studio that distributed "Avatar," also is a partner in the theme park and will distribute the next two films.

It's not unusual for Disney to partner on projects that weren't produced at its own studio. It opened an "Indiana Jones" attraction at Disneyland in 1995 in partnership with Lucasfilm even though the film was distributed by rival studio Paramount, which is owned by Viacom Inc.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said the long-term agreement includes the possible expansion of "Avatar" to Disney's other parks worldwide, but there are no immediate plans to do that.

Cameron, his company, Lightstorm Entertainment, and producing partner Jon Landau will not get a cut of theme park ticket revenues. But they will help develop the area under a licensing deal that includes royalties on food and beverage sales, Staggs said. The area should help create thousands of jobs, he added.

Walt Disney shares closed down 20 cents Tuesday at $32.31.

 

<한글기사>

디즈니, 아바타 테마파크 만든다


(글렌데일<美캘리포니아주> AP=연합뉴스) 미국의 월트 디즈니사는 20일  플로리다 디즈니월드 등 자사 테마파크에 영화 `아바타' 테마파크를 조성하기로 제임스 캐 머런 감독과 독점계약을 맺었다고 발표했다.

디즈니가 일차로 플로리다주 올랜도의 애니멀 킹덤에 조성할 아바타 테마파크는 2013년부터 공사를 시작해 3년후 완공될 예정이며, 약 4억달러의 공사비가 투자된다 .

디즈니의 톰 스태그 파크·리조트 담당 회장은 아바타 테마파크는 애니메이션 영화 '카(Cars)'를 테마로 해 내년 여름 캘리포니아주 애너하임에 12에이커(약 4만8천562㎡) 규모로 개장하는 '카 랜드(Cars Land)' 테마파크와 규모가 비슷할  것이라 고 말했다.

캐머런 감독은 이 테마파크는 영화 아바타에 나오는 판도라 행성에 생명력을 불 어넣을 것으로 기대하며, 3-D기술과 애니마트로닉스 및 홀로그램 등 첨단 기술이 포 함될 것이라고 말했다.

캐머런 감독은 이어 "아바타 영화 팬들은 판도라 행성을 방문하기를  원했다"면 서 "테마파크에서 밤에 숲속에 있는 체험을 하거나 날아보는 체험을 할 수 있을 것" 이라고 말했다.

캐머런 감독은 현재 2014년 12월과 2015년 12월을 목표로 아바타 속편 `아바타 2'와 `아바타 3'를 제작중인 가운데 이 테마파크에는 이 속편에 나오는 핵심 장면과 요소들도 포함될 예정이다.

영화 아바타의 배급회사였던 미국 영화사 20세기 폭스는 속편의 배급도 담당할 예정이며, 이번 테마파크 사업에도 파트너로 참여했다.

디즈니사가 자체 스튜디오에서 제작되지 않은 영화와 관련된 프로젝트에 파트너 로 참여하는 것은 처음은 아니다.

디즈니는 이미 영화 `인디애나존스'가 경쟁회사인 파라마운트사에 의해  배급됐 음에도 불구하고 지난 1995년 루카스 필름과 공동으로 `인디애나존스' 테마파크를 디즈니랜드에 설치한바 있다.

밥 이거 디즈니 CEO(최고경영자)는 이번 장기계약은 아바타 테마파크를 전 세계 에 걸쳐있는 다른 디즈니 파크에도 설치하는 방안이 포함돼 있지만 현재로서는 아직 구체적인 계획은 없는 상황이라고 말했다.

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