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SpongeBob defeats Spiderman at Universal Studios

Los Angeles Times

Original Article »

January 04, 2008

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, Shrek and SpongeBob vanquished Spiderman and his fellow Marvel Comics superheroes from Universal Studios Hollywood.

Universal’s contract with Marvel expired at the end of 2007, meaning the superhero characters will no longer pose for photos with visitors or appear on T-shirts and other souvenirs sold inside the movie theme park. In recent months, Universal added Simpsons and Scooby-Doo walk-around characters in anticipation of Spidey’s ignoble departure.

Over the past few years, Marvel’s presence at Universal Studios Hollywood had been diminishing. The Spiderman Rocks musical stunt show completed a two-year run in 2004, replaced by Fear Factor Live. Marvel Mania — a superhero-themed restaurant intended to compete with Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood — flamed out in the late 1990s, according to fansite The Studio Tour.

According to Screamscape, the Hollywood theme park’s contract expiration doesn’t affect Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Fla., where Marvel characters roam Super Hero Island.



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