Lego movie falls flat for Merlin Entertainment

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Lego figuresImage copyright
Dave J Hogan

The success of the Lego movie franchise has failed to strike twice for Merlin Entertainment which saw “disappointing” sales at its Legoland theme parks.

Merlin Entertainment said trade had been affected by “limited momentum” from The Lego Movie 2 as well as poor weather earlier this year.

The company said like-for-like sales for the first half of the year fell by 0.7% at Legoland.

But new attractions such as those based on Peppa Pig helped lift overall sales.

Merlin operates 127 attractions, 19 hotels and seven holiday villages in 27 countries.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was released in February and has so far taken $191.3m at the box office.

However, Merlin Entertainment said that during the six months to 29 June, there has “been limited trading momentum as a result of the film itself”.

By comparison, the first Lego film took $469.1m and significantly boosted at sales at Merlin in 2014.

The firm, which also owns Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds, said sales for businesses open at least a year rose by 2.3% on improving tourist numbers in its key London market.

Total visitor numbers rose by 3% to 30.8 million.

Overall, pre-tax profits at Merlin Entertainment fell to £34m from £43m on sales 8.1% higher at £763m.



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