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Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

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I hope USH does a bit more to differentiate itself from USF. With USF now getting Transformers and both parks assumingly getting the same Harry Potter attraction, USH doen't have much going for it in comparison.

The two parks aren't in competition with each other, so why does this even matter?

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^My thoughts exactly. If Universal creates a blockbuster attraction, why wouldn't they want it available on both coasts to market to the entire country? I'd be willing to bet that 9/10 guests of USH or UO have never been to the other Universal park.


Plus, USH will always have the Studio Tour as a unique attraction that will continue to be a big draw.

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Well they certainly don't give a compelling reason for them to be in "competition." Not just people on the east coast make trips to Florida, friends of mine just went on their honeymoon there. People from the east coast visit the west coast for all sorts of reasons. Unless you live in the state or local area there isn't much difference going to either the west coast parks or east coast except for a small difference in plane tickets and a bit longer flight.


Two summers ago my family in CA met up with our extend family from Illinois at Disney World and Universal. The Summer after they came out here and skipped Universal to go to the beach.


I don't think it's like the grocery store where you just go to the closest one. People would go if there was a compelling reason to do so.


Kinda random addition here but 2 years ago when my family was at Disney World we were waiting for Fantasmic to start and the family next to us was from the same small town just outside Sacramento. It was really weird! They also knew the drill because near the end when the riverboat came out they all took off.

Edited by SLUSHIE
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^Those are examples of the exceptions, not the norm when it comes to the average visitor of both parks. I've lived in LA my whole life, and only a handful of my friends (many of which are already theme park nerds to begin with) have actually been to Orlando.

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  • 2 months later...



It's a little strange to listen to Michael Bay complain about how difficult it was to get his next feature film, "Pain & Gain," financed and produced. Especially when you consider that Bay's last three films -- all installments in the "Transformers" franchise -- have earned more than $2.7 billion worldwide. Oh, and that the budget for "Pain and Gain" -- starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as two Miami bodybuilders who become involved in a kidnapping plot that's much too bizarre to sum up in a few words -- is only $25 million. Again, remember, this is Michael Bay we're talking about. No matter what you think of his movies, you can't deny that they make heaps of money.


I won't lie: Bay is making the rounds to promote not a movie but a corn-chip contest. For the last few years, Doritos has run a contest giving aspiring filmmakers the chance to direct the company's Super Bowl ad. This year, as an added bonus, the winner will also get to "work with" Bay on "Transformers 4." Bay admits that it's unclear what kind of "work" this person will do, but he promises it won't be too menial. Ahead, Bay explains why he wants to work on "Transformers 4" after so adamantly declaring that "Dark of the Moon" would be his last chapter. He also confirms that the series will pick up where the last one left off in Chicago -- with Peter Cullen back as the voice of Optimus Prime -- and describes just how hard it is for even a multi-billion-dollar director to get a $25 million dollar movie off the ground these days.


You seem like a busy guy.

[Laughs] I am. A little bit. I've got TV shows going, trying to develop "Transformers 4," finishing "Pain & Gain" right now -- it's a fun movie.


Why do you want to do it? I was under the impression that you were done after "Transformers 3"?

I thought I was done. Then the ride came out [at Universal Studios Hollywood] and the two-and-a-half-hour lines. And then you're thinking, Oh my God, someone's going to take this over. And you start doing a lot of soul-searching. Like, OK, I'm about to do a little movie, "Pain & Gain" ... and the studio says they want to restart the franchise. And someone could come in here and screw it up, you know? So I'm thinking that if I do this last one, we set it on a new footing, we change a lot of things -- but we keep the history of the three in place. But we broaden it so it can be set up and be carried on -- it would have a better chance for survival, I guess. You know?



So it was just one of those things. It's like, when you look what's going on in the film business with the franchise frenzy right now, why is Cameron doing two more "Avatar" movies? Why is Peter Jackson doing three more "Hobbit" movies that are in the same world as "Lord of the Rings"? When you have a franchise, it's very hard to give it up.

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I don't really think the ride had anything to do with it (it was probably more along the lines of " if you want us to distribute this crappy bodybuilding movie of yours, you'd better make us another Transformers"), but it is cool for him to give a shout out to the ride none-the-less.

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I don't really think the ride had anything to do with it (it was probably more along the lines of " if you want us to distribute this crappy bodybuilding movie of yours, you'd better make us another Transformers"), but it is cool for him to give a shout out to the ride none-the-less.


Yeah, I totally see it being packaged this way. It was probably written into his contract.

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I remember reading last year right before Transformers 3 was released that Bay pulled off getting that Pain and Gain movie made because he agreed to Transformers 4. Apparently he had been turned down numerous times and even Paramount acknowledged it would probably be a failure but was worth the gamble if they got another Transformers out of him. Definitely BS that he's claiming it was the ride that changed his mind now.

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  • 2 weeks later...



The Los Angeles Planning Commission on Thursday approved a $1.6-billion makeover of Universal Studios that supporters say will boost tourism, entertainment business and bring tens of thousands of jobs to the San Fernando Valley.


The commission voted unanimously to recommend the so-called Evolution plan despite the objection of Los Angeles River advocates who requested a riverfront bike path.


"This is a significant, important project," said commission President William Roschen, after a full day of deliberation at the Van Nuys Civic Center. "The vision of this plan is fantastic. This is an amazing opportunity for the city."


If approved by the City Council, the upgrade to the 100-year-old studios would greatly expand TV and movie production facilities, support and offices. It would also provide sweeping additions to the Universal Studios theme park and CityWalk.


It would also bring $100 million in local transportation fixes.


Six years in the making, the Evolution plan drew official and community support after NBCUniversal, which owns the studios, scrapped plans for a Red Line station office tower and 3,000 homes on its Universal City property.


Thursday's meeting opened to a standing-room crowd of hundreds of residents and union workers, many of whom defended the proposed development. The project will bring an estimated 35,000 new construction and production-related jobs.


"We believe Evolution is best for the city, best for the studios and best for workers," said union leader Robbie Hunter of the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council. "We're asking for your support."

At the end of the day, eight commissioners voted unanimously to support a project that, before the houses were subtracted, had drawn fire for potential traffic and even threatening the historic studios.


The commission tabled approval of a new sign district until a review of how new movie and other signs might effect residents. The sign issue will be revisited Oct. 25.


"We are very pleased at the outcome of today," Corinne Verdery, NBCUniversal's chief real-estate development and planning officer, told the Daily News. "And we're grateful to all the community members who came out to participate.


"We're looking forward to the process of ultimately getting to build the project, and creating more than 30,000 new jobs."


Earlier, a broad coalition of environmental and planning groups asked the commission in a letter to deny the Evolution project unless it created a studio timeline to create a bike path between its movie sets and the Los Angeles River.


Proponents of the 1-mile bicycle and pedestrian path on a privately used county road through the studio backlot say it is required by a new state law as well as city and county river master plans.


Planning officials, however, said the service road used by the studios is owned by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District. About 70 percent of the studios lies within an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County.


NBCUniversal, which plans a small riverfront park on land it owns, intends to create a continuous bicycle and pedestrian path from Griffith Park to the 101 Freeway, officials said.


"NBCUniversal is committed to working with the city to establish a bike path from the Glendale Narrows through our property," George J. Mihlsten, an attorney representing the media giant, told the commission. "We are committed to making that happen."


The company announced Thursday it would contribute $3 million toward a county riverfront trail, $500,000 toward city bike lane improvements and $375,000 toward bike path planning.


Councilman Tom LaBonge also requested, and won, tens of thousand of dollars toward local neighborhood recreation, Campo de Cahuenga, the Los Angeles Zoo and Traveltown.


Though river advocates failed to stall the project to win their bike path, they were elated by the financial support.


"I'm excited NBC has stepped up to the plate with real money," said Eric Bruins, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition, which hopes to see river-bike connections from Canoga Park to the sea. "There's a real effort by the commission to complete an entire plan for bicycles."

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Glad to see them moving forward with this plan. Both the production and theme park industries are so competitive, change and improvements are always needed to keep the business alive and growing!

Edited by Jew
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T2:3D closes forever on 12/31/12.




With the 1.6 billion dollar expansion approved, T2:3D closing and being replaced with the rumored Minion Mayhem, and Wizarding World and City Walk expansion set to start construction very soon. Shouldn't this thread be made into the all purpose USH thread?

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