The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando opened its doors just a year and a half ago, but executives are already planning to build a similar Potter-themed wonderland in Los Angeles. Earlier today, Universal officially announced its intention to bring Potter to Universal Studios Hollywood, while also announcing a planned expansion of the Orlando Potter exhibit. The announcement comes at an interesting moment for the franchise since, for the first time in its history, there are no new books or films on the horizon — which is to say, there are no more real Potter events left to celebrate. The big new Potter product — the interactive game/social media website/potential publishing venture Pottermore — remains trapped in beta.
Potter has been a a lucrative mega-franchise for a long time, and since the planned Hollywood park won’t open for at least three years, it’s worth asking: Is the Potter franchise big enough to support to separate parks? And can a franchise with a fundamental endpoint ever be as big as the Disney theme park global empire? READ FULL STORY »