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Twentieth Century Fox partners with Merlin Entertainments and Simex-Iwerks to Announce World’s First Fully Immersive Ice Age Experience

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Fox Kicks Off Exciting Location Based Entertainment Strategy With 4-D Attraction, Themed Hotel Rooms, and Retail Destination At Two of Merlin Entertainments’ top European theme park resorts – the UK’s No 1 – Alton Towers and Italy’s No 1 – Gardaland
 
Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products has teamed with SimEx-Iwerks and Merlin Entertainments (‘Merlin’), Europe’s biggest visitor attraction operator, to bring the blockbuster Ice Age franchise to life with the debut of the world’s first fully immersive Ice Age attraction featuring Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs – The 4-D Experience.  The attraction will debut in March at Merlin’s two premier theme park resorts – Alton Towers in the UK, and Gardaland in Italy, when they open for the
2012 season.  These two exciting projects will set the groundwork for a long-term location based entertainment rollout for Ice Age, one of Fox Consumer Products most successful family franchises.
 
Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs – The 4-D Experience is a completely immersive entertainment attraction that will combine 3-D film footage from  the third movie in the franchise, with an exhilarating array of synchronized physical effects. Upon exiting the 4-D experience, guests will find themselves in an Ice Age-themed area where they can meet their favorite costume characters, as well as purchase specially-developed branded merchandise.  Along with the new 4-D attractions and gift shop, Alton Towers Resort will also feature two interactive Ice Age-themed bedrooms inside the theme park’s Splash Landings Hotel, for the ultimate Ice Age sleepover
 
A partnership with a company featuring the profile and quality of attractions that Merlin has, together with an Ice Age attraction in two of Europe’s premier theme park resorts, marks an ongoing effort on behalf of Fox Consumer Products to extend its television and film franchises across the globe in the form of location based entertainment.
 
“Our partnership with Merlin, the world’s No 2 and Europe’s No 1 operator, is a wonderful opportunity for the Ice Age franchise and a strong cornerstone for our strategy to develop location based entertainment opportunities that will deeply connect consumers with our brands through immersive experiences.  The planned attractions and live events also create all-new incremental merchandising opportunities and sales for all of our partners, ” said Robert Marick, Executive Vice President of Fox Consumer Products.
 
Mark Fisher, Chief Development Officer for Merlin’s ‘Magic Making’ creative group added, “We are delighted to be working with Fox.  Merlin currently has 78 attractions around the world and we have developed a portfolio of very strong global and local brands of our own.  It is therefore very important to us that where we forge additional partnerships, these both complement our own brands, and have very strong visitor appeal.  Our research has shown that Ice Age is one of the most popular brands amongst our family visitors, particularly at Parks such as Alton Towers and Gardaland – two of our most important attractions.   We have had a very positive experience with 4-D attractions – and were the first to introduce this technology to Europe at the London Eye.   However, the fact that we are able to develop the link not just in an exciting new attraction, but also with themed hotel rooms and merchandising makes this a very attractive opportunity, which we hope to extend to other attractions in our portfolio in the future.”
 
SimEx-Iwerks, the leading innovator of immersive 3-D and 4-D attractions, will work with Fox to develop Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs – The 4-D Experience.
 
With over $4 billion in box office, home entertainment and consumer products sales, the Ice Age franchise is a perennial hit. The installment of Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs – The 4-D Experience comes during a booming time for the franchise with the debut of the first Ice Age television holiday special, Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, airing in November, and the fourth installment of the film series, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, in theaters in 3-D July 2012.  Fans will follow Scrat’s nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn, which he’s been after since the dawn of time, with world-changing consequences – a continental cataclysm that triggers the greatest adventure of all for Manny, Diego and Sid.  In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny and the herd encounter a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.  The film features a returning cast voiced by John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Seann William Scott, Queen Latifah and Denis Leary, along with new characters voiced by Jennifer Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Keke Palmer, Aziz Ansari and Drake, among others.
 
About Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products:
A recognized industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Twentieth Television and Fox Broadcasting Company, as well as third party lines. The division is aligned with Twentieth Century Fox Television, one of the top suppliers of prime time entertainment programming to the broadcast networks.
 
About Fox Filmed Entertainment
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Fox Filmed Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world.  These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE:  Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions and Twentieth Century Fox Animation
 
 About Merlin Entertainments:
The leading name in location-based, family entertainment, Merlin Entertainments has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin operates 78 attractions, six hotels/two holiday villages in 17 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 44 million visitors worldwide through its iconic global and local brands and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 16, 000 employees.
 
Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions: SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park, Earth Explorer, Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK, Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter Underwater World, Oceanworld Manly and Hamilton Island Wildlife Park. All brands are distinctive, challenging and innovative and have great potential for growth in the future. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.
 
About SimEx-Iwerks
SimEx-Iwerks is the leading innovator of immersive 3D and 4D Attractions and the exclusive distributor of the industry’s best selling film titles. The company supports over 150 family-friendly attractions in more than 30 countries. Our Attractions entertain and educate over 30 million people every year bringing a whole new dimension to the guest experience.

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