Everything wasn’t awesome for Legoland Florida owner Merlin Entertainments in the first half of 2019, according to the British company’s latest financial report.
With its Legoland division, Merlin reported a 0.7 percent drop in like-for-like revenue. Underlying operating profits fell 4.6 percent, to $75 million. Among the factors the company blamed for this falloff was “limited momentum” from “Lego Movie 2.” While the 2014 hit brought in $469 million worldwide, the sequel flopped with a $191 million take.
This was not great news for Legoland Florida, which opened Lego Movie World less than two months after the film opened.
“Whilst our new Lego Movie World land at Legoland Florida has enjoyed favorable guest feedback, there has otherwise been limited trading momentum as a result of the film itself,” the company said in its earnings report. “Nevertheless, we continue to enjoy levels of guest satisfaction in excess of 90 percent.”
The Winter Haven park’s new land opened in March with three rides, a playground, gift shop and quick service taco stand.
Keith Carr, project director on Lego Movie World, told Orlando Rising at the opening that it took a chance on the second film being as successful as the first.
“Yes, it’s a risk, but it’s a calculated risk,” he said. “We knew to be successful in a realm like this we have to be evergreen. We can’t be too specific to one film or we’ll date ourselves.”
Legoland Florida is still set on expanding next year with the opening of a third on-site accommodation, the Pirate Island Hotel.
By the time the hotel opens in 2020, Legoland and Merlin are likely to have new owners. Merlin’s board has recommended acceptance of a takeover bid by a consortium that includes Lego owners the Kristiansen family. If the deal goes through as expected by the end of the year, Merlin would become a private company.