Disney’s newly announced Avatar theme-park attraction is “a perfect example of something that could be a needle mover” for the company’s parks operation, CFO Jay Rasulo said today at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia Conference. The arrangement with Fox and director James Cameron is “a standard licening deal” that doesn’t provide them with a percentage of ticket sales — but does share revenue from merchandise. Rasulo adds that the initiative likely won’t “stick out llike a sore thumb” in Disney’s costs: “We just won’t do something else we were going to do” at Animal Kingdom. After next year “there will be a significant decline in the capital we invest in our parks,” bringing Disney “relatively closer to our historic level of spending.” That’s important to analysts who fear that construction and investment costs will hurt profit margins. “We look forward to the day when people say ‘you’re back’ and don’t ask that question anymore.”
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