(AP) LOS ANGELES — Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal is expected to announce Tuesday that it'll build a Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Like a Polyjuice potion, the move will make the Los Angeles area theme park look a lot more like the Universal Orlando Resort, where The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been open since June of last year.
The opening of the attraction in Florida has helped drive a big boost in attendance and profitability.
Although Universal executives didn't confirm the details, a media notice says Universal Studios Hollywood will host a "butterbeer toast," a favorite drink of magicians in the J.K. Rowling novels.
Aside from California Gov. Jerry Brown and other dignitaries, the appearance list includes top executives from Warner Bros., the studio that made the "Harry Potter" movies.
Since the first Harry Potter attraction opened in Orlando, Fla., attendance at the park has jumped by 40 percent to 50 percent, Comcast executive vice president Steve Burke said in September. He said the attraction caused "a gigantic sea change in the profitability."
Comcast, the cable TV giant that bought a majority stake in NBCUniversal in January in a $13.5 billion deal. It bought out its 50 percent partner in the Universal Orlando theme park, The Blackstone Group, for $1.03 billion in June.
In the nine months through September, its theme-park revenue rose 33 percent from a year ago to $1.49 billion, while operating cash flow jumped 61 percent to $644 million.
That makes it Comcast's second-most profitable division behind pay TV channels, accounting for just under a quarter of the operating cash flow overall.
Copyright Associated Press
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