Marvel superheroes to become a traveling interactive attraction

“The Avengers”
Marvel Entertainment and Hero Ventures are hoping to capitalize on the success of such recent hit films as “The Avenger,” with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

After its success with movies and products based on superheroes such as Iron Man and Thor, Marvel Entertainment has teamed with a Los Angeles start-up for a new traveling attraction based on the characters.

Live entertainment company Hero Ventures is spending more than $30 million on “The Marvel Experience,” which will travel to 20 to 24 cities in its first tour next year, Chief Executive Rick Licht said. 

The project will use a dome the size of two football fields to house the attraction at each stop. Licht, who co-founded the company with fellow entrepreneur Doug Schaer in 2012, said the effort will be similar to attractions such as the Super Bowl Experience.

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Its features will include a motion simulator ride, 3D animation, holograms and origin stories of the characters using still images from the comic books. There will, of course, be plenty of merchandise for sale. 

“We’re combining all these elements into a magnificent beast,” Licht said. “Everything we’re doing has been done before, but none of it has been done all together. It’s never been made into a traveling show, and it’s never been done with such phenomenally popular characters.”

By teaming with Marvel, which is owned by Walt Disney Co. in Burbank, Hero Ventures is tapping into a rich franchise that is responsible for multiple hit movies, including the recent box office hits “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3.” Hero Ventures has a multiyear licensing deal with Marvel. 

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Sean Haran, Marvel’s vice president of business development, said the project will offer a chance for people to interact with the Marvel brand in a new way.

“Fans can enter and experience Marvel on their own terms, interacting with the various stations they choose and spending as much time as they want,” he said. 

Hero Ventures is trying to make “The Marvel Experience” appeal to a broad, family audience without alienating die-hard fans.

“Every day we’re trying to get the content and the storyline just right,” Licht said. “Trying to get it to work for a 7-year-old, a college kid and a parent is a delicate balance.”


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