Bad Day at Blackfish Rock – SeaWorld Now Says Its Losing Visitors and Money

by on August 14, 2014 · 8 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Health, Media, Ocean Beach, Organizing, San Diego

SeaWorld Shares Drop 30%

It was a bad day yesterday, Wednesday, August 13, for SeaWorld, as company execs admitted for the very first time that the aquatic theme parks are losing visitors and money due to the film “Blackfish” – the movie about SeaWorld mistreating orcas.  Almost immediately SeaWorld shares dropped 30%.

Up to now, SeaWorld – which has 11 theme parks across the country – has denied that its earnings and numbers of customers have declined due to “Blackfish”.

Yet they had to admit the losses in the company’s financial results for the second quarter of 2014. The losses are due to a drop in people coming to their “destination-parks” – like SeaWorld San Diego. With audiences in decline and sales of everything from tickets and products affected, the company reported:

Attendance of 6.6 million, a 0.3% increase versus the second quarter of 2013” – plus

Revenue of $405.2 million versus $411.3 million in the second quarter of 2013 – See more at:

Revenue of $405.2 million versus $411.3 million in the second quarter of 2013 -“

 And their stock dropping had to come next.  SeaWorld didn’t admit it directly, but in a press release stated that the audience drop was related to recent legislation:

 “The company believes attendance in the quarter was impacted by demand pressures related to recent media attention surrounding proposed legislation in the state of California.” 

The protests, the demonstrations, the focusing on individual orcas, the constant reminding by activists of the terrible conditions and histories of the confined ocean-going mammals – has had a significant effect.

Perhaps, reforms can come next. But, probably not, as reportedly, SeaWorld wants to try campaigns to boost attendance around Halloween and the Holidays; its hiring experts to help them woo people back.

Hey, SeaWorld – how about unleashing the orcas – and seeing what that does to attendance.

Here’s the U-T San Diego report, detailed and wordy.

And here’s the Voice of San Diego’s version – expressing worry that San Diegans will now see reduced rents and thus city budgets because of the SeaWorld revenue losses.



{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Snelling August 15, 2014 at 8:36 am

Confirming what everyone already knew despite SeaWorlds denials… When Willie Nelson cancels your show you know you are in trouble. Think it is wrong to give all the credit to the movie Blackfish though. OB activists have been opposing Seaworld’s business model for over a decade as well as many others. The movie reinforced what many people already knew in their hearts.


Aging Hippie August 15, 2014 at 11:29 am

Is it true that the performing whales would not be able to survive if they were released into the wild, or is that just propaganda?


Marc Snelling August 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Its mostly propaganda. Remember Free Willy? Keiko was the orca they used for that film. Afterwards public pressure led to Keiko being released back into the wild.

There is not that much known about releasing captive orcas. It has not been done very often, they usually die in captivity. Experts think the success rate is tied to how scarred they are from their time in captivity and if they are returned to their native waters.

Even if specific orcas are not able to survive in the wild they could still be moved to a sea pen that is much much larger than SeaWorld’s tanks – no mater how big they make them. Some would argue it is better to die free in the wild than live a long life in captivity.


Aging Hippie August 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm
Micheal August 16, 2014 at 2:31 am

Keiko died after being released. Blackfish and the PETA nonsense that followed is nothing but trash propaganda at best. I worked at SeaWorld and I guarantee you that I know what garbage PETA spews out as the whales and all the other animals are very well treated and unlike PETA, SeaWorld does not kill hundreds of animals a year. Every sick and injured animal is cared for and all attempts are made to heal the animals. PETA simply takes animals, locks them up in pens, and then kills them. Hypocrisy at its best.


Marc Snelling August 17, 2014 at 4:47 am

Saying Keiko died after being released is propaganda in itself. His process of being reintroduced was started five years before his death. He lived for months totally in the wild and travelled 1000 miles through the North Atlantic. When he died he was the second oldest orca to have ever been in captivity. Thousands of people were inspired by his story and awareness was raised.

You don’t have to support PETA to support an end to captive orcas.

SeaWorld’s animals would not be sick and injured if they hadn’t been captured in the first place. There would be no need to reintroduce orcas to the wild if they were respected and left there in the first place.


Aging Hippie August 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm

I thought most of Sea World’s whales were born in captivity. Wouldn’t that make it very difficult for them to return to the wild? I’d also heard proposals that some kind of sanctuary be built for them, similar to the one they’ve created for chimpanzees.


Marc Snelling August 18, 2014 at 11:56 am

SeaWorld has 5 captured orcas and 18 bred into captivity. Not reproducing more captive-bred orcas is more important than releasing them into the wild. Who knows if they could survive but either way they are human’s responsibility to care for now.


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