Ask around and I think most would agree that Marvel Island doesn't even come close to fulfilling its full potential in its current form and sorely needs updating. I also can't think of anything Universal could possibly do within the current parks that could give them a higher ROI than a new Marvel ride (even if it's not MCU.) It's the biggest IP they have access to, barring Potter, which we truly have enough of.It's actually very simple. Universal had more pressing priorities. The Marvel land more or less works as intended. It needed updates, but other lands needed new attractions more than Marvel Superhero Island did. And let's not forget, Universal was also expanding its hotels, building a water park and planning a third park. They figured they could get better ROI on other projects.
It wouldn't be a first.For your theory to be correct, Universal would have to be stupid enough to plan an attraction they didn't have the legal right to build. That seems unlikely, doesn't it?
There is a provision that requires Marvel's permission to expand, which now amounts to Disney's permission. Even if they could go to arbitration over it and possibly win, perhaps they've decided it's not worth the headache of engaging Disney in contentious legal battles when they have other, albeit less profitable options on their plate.Not to mention the contract has been available online for ages. I've read it. There is no provision that would allow Disney to prevent Universal from expanding the land. If Disney attempted to do so, it would go to arbitration and there's no way they would win that.
I don't see anyone complaining about Spider-Man.I would add to that,
1.) Anything Marvel that Universal could build would necessarily look and sound very different from the "Marvel" most of the general public likes and expects. They own the rights to the characters generally, but not to the derivative works created since the agreement. An Avengers-themed ride that can't use the likenesses of any of the actors or music that people associate with the brand might annoy Disney, but it would also come across as weird and second-rate to park guests.
...unless it was really, really well-designed.
Is it though? How much new JW merch, spurred by VelociCoaster's opening, do you really think they're selling? Especially to kids who can't even ride it? At least they get a cut of the Marvel merch they sell, which I'd imagine they're selling a lot more of.It's far more profitable for Universal as a whole to encourage kids to buy Velociraptor action figures than Spider-Man ones, nectar because doing the latter is putting pennies into Disney's pocket.
They already do this all the time. Half the rides at Universal aren't even Universal IPs, and make no mistake, they will continue to poach more from rival studios. That's been their business model for a very long time.2.) Investments by Comcast/Universal in Marvel would to a certain degree be negative corporate synergy, as they would be promoting their competitor's movies and products instead of their own.