Many of you may know, and one or two may have actually been there in person, last Thursday Universal Studios Islands of Adventure opened its much anticipated Harry Potter ride yesterday in Orlando, Florida. The ride, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike, opened to a pretty astounding 10-HOUR WAIT. Think about that. Visitors were willing to wait virtually their entire day to enjoy what amounts to a few minutes on a roller coaster. Based on early reviews, this “experience” appears to be $300 million well spent by Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
Setting aside your particular feelings about Harry Potter or roller coasters for that matter, this phenomena of money invested and time waited in line is worth paying attention to. Amidst a backdrop of trade wars, political tension, and Laura Branigan’s Gloria on a state of repeat in St. Louis (GLORIA, GLORIA!), brand loyalty and engagement with entertainment content has never been higher. Few things are certain across the globe at the moment, but companies that have proven brand IP (intellectual property) and those capable of creating engaging ways to enjoy that content have some certainty that, in the immortal words of James Earl Jones, if you build it, “oh people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”
As we move through 2019 and companies like Disney launch their streaming media platform, Disney+, parents wonder whether Fortnite will ever “just go away”, and movie-goers are treated to yet another Toy Story sequel, beloved brands and characters will continue to have their value measured. Investors are constantly looking to uncover the next trend or story that will swing a stock or markets one direction or another. We choose to believe that experiencing something that makes a person feel good has never, and will never go out of style. Be it an amusement park, book series, or some combination of the two, those things do in-fact stand the test of time.
This post is not meant to be a recommendation to buy or to sell securities nor an offer to buy or sell securities.