It's a concept whose time has come. With theme parks such as Universal Studios and Disney parks worldwide focusing on rides themed to film and television shows, it was only a matter of time, and funding, for IECs to offer similar attractions.
A draw to fans and entertainment center enthusiasts, Lionsgate and Parques Reunidos will begin offering IECs with themes relating to projects such as the Divergent Series, The Hunger Games, and John Wick. The first such location will open at 11 Times Square in 2019 as Lionsgate Entertainment City. The pairs' first European Lionsgate branded indoor entertainment center will open at the Estación Príncipe Pío in Madrid in early 2020, following the launch of “Lionsgate Entertainment City” in Time Square.
According to Parques Reunidos CEO Fernando Eiroa, “Parques Reunidos has a strong expansion plan for indoor entertainment centers, which will be open to the public year-round throughout Europe and the U.S.. He notes that the company's experience combined with Lionsgate's iconic properties– like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Mad Men— will allow the first branded IEC of its kind in Europe.
Both in the U.S. and abroad, Eiroa says “Visitors will be able to live through total immersion experiences via multiple virtual reality simulators and dine with Don Draper-style at this new exciting location.”
Lionsgate partnering with Spain's Parques Reunidos, a global leisure-park operator, allows a wealth of entertainment options to emerge on a global scale.
At the Times Square location, planned attractions include branded dining such as a Hunger Games-inspired Peeta's Bakery and The Capitol Confectionery; a flying-simulator attraction; a Divergent-themed obstacle course; and a John Wick: Chapter Two shooting ride where fans will engage immersively with a series of assailants.
As the flagship venue, the NYC indoor attraction also plans to include their Mad Men-themed dining experience, a theater for 4D film, a variety of live show experiences and virtual reality entertainment, including a Nerve VR motorcycle experience.
Planned to drive and expand revenue for the film and TV attraction, more Lionsgate film and TV property-themed attractions are planned in the U.S. and internationally.
Lionsgate senior VP of global and live location-based entertainment, Jenefer Brown attests “We're delighted to kick off our partnership with Parques Reunidos in midtown Manhattan, and we look forward to extending our alliance to other major U.S. and European cities.” She foresees continued worldwide growth for the projects.
Lionsgate's location-based entertainment business includes separate planned attractions in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Previously, the studio announced the launch of the outdoor theme park, Lionsgate Movie World at Jeju Island, South Korea. In short, it's not just Universal Studios offering up their film and TV fare for theme park attendees.
And, the indoor theme park Lionsgate Entertainment World is under development in Hengqin, China, with the Lionsgate Zone of the Motiongate theme park is slated to open in Dubai.
Brown notes “Lionsgate Entertainment City celebrates so many of our greatest film and television properties and provides their fans with a unique immersive experience featuring state-of-the-art technology right in the heart of the city.”
Parques Reunidos CEO Eiroa adds his excitement about the collaboration with Lionsgate, calling the new projects “a big milestone for our strategy to develop Indoor Entertainment Centers in shopping malls and landmark buildings. Lionsgate Entertainment City will be our sixth IEC, following the five we announced in 2016 which are underway in Europe. We hope that, through this strategy, we will develop 20 other centers in the coming years and we will become a worldwide leader in this form of entertainment.”
A Lionsgate Café, and the first-ever Lionsgate Studio Store will also be a part of the IEC entertainment center mix, as will party rooms for private events and special programing that can be customized for Lionsgate properties.
Parques Reunidos is one of the leading leisure park operators in the world. The company operates over 61 theme parks, animal parks, aquatic parks, family entertainment facilities, and other attractions with a presence in 14 countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia, receiving approximately 20 million visitors per year.
American audiences may be more familiar with Lionsgate, whose TV series, films, and digital products are a household name. In addition to its filmed entertainment, Lionsgate offers interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies. The company owns a 16,000-title film and television library delivered through a global licensing infrastructure. Location based entertainment experiences will be planned to include The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga, The SAW Franchise, LA LA LAND, and Now You See Me. Many smaller indoor Lionsgate Entertainment City centers are planned for high-traffic consumer destinations in the U.S. and Europe.
The upcoming Madrid location of Lionsgate Entertainment City will be the first indoor entertainment center to open in a European landmark building. The attractions will be aimed at young adults and adults, and will include a challenge course and climbing wall as well as a motion simulator, along with film-based attractions similar to those being developed for the initial Times Square location.
Madrid's “Lionsgate Entertainment City” will cover 4,200 square meters as a part of the Príncipe Pío leisure complex, which includes a theater and a concert hall. The center will include a terrace allowing views of both the Royal Palace and Madrid's Cathedral.“We are thrilled to continue our global partnership with Parques Reunidos with the opening of our second Lionsgate Entertainment City location and our first branded leisure center in Europe,” Lionsgate's Brown reports. “We look forward to introducing exciting and immersive experiences themed to our popular film and television brands to audiences in Parques Reunidos' hometown of Madrid.