Speed Reads

Numbers don't lie

SeaWorld attendance is down. Is Blackfish to blame?

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Is it the Blackfish backlash? SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. just reported a 13 percent drop in attendance in the first quarter of 2014, falling to 3.05 million visitors January through March, from 3.5 million in the same quarter of 2013.

SeaWorld has been pushing back against claims made in the 2013 documentary film Blackfish that the company mistreats its killer whales. The Los Angeles Times could not reach the company for comment, but notes that during a conference call in March, SeaWorld officials rejected the notion that the movie had anything to do with declining attendance.

So what does SeaWorld believe is the reason behind the drop in visitors? An increase in ticket prices last year, and the calendar: Holidays like Easter and spring break fell earlier in 2013.