December 20, 2014

Proof That Movies Change the World (SeaWorld, That Is)

Blackfish versus SeaWorld Stock Price

The terrific documentary Blackfish premiered at Sundance in 2013 and ignited public debate over SeaWorld and captive killer whales. From the date I'm publishing this, December 20, 2014, here's the last year of the stock price of SEAS, SeaWorld Entertainment:

Hmm, what are these sudden drops? The overall trend clearly shows that Shamu and co. have seen better years. But that's what Blackfish is about — that these wild animals are much better off in the wild, and that they suffer terribly when forced to play the role of five-ton circus clowns (along with putting their trainers at risk). What this chart makes clear is that the publicly-traded company that owns Shamu and co, SeaWorld Entertainment, has seen better years... with those better years coming before Blackfish was released. Roberto A. Ferdman of The Washington Post made this chart showing key moments related to the release of the film:

Blackfish versus SeaWorld Stock Price
Credit: The Washington Post

The "corrective disclosure" mentioned in the chart above, clearly responsible for the largest drop in stock price, took place on August 13, 2013, when SeaWorld issued a press release reporting a nine-percent drop in attendance, admitting it was caused by the documentary (after repeated denials that Blackfish posed any risk to their business (or, for that matter, that the documentary told the truth)).

If I knew more about stocks, I would provide further analysis, but I will just share these numbers in lieu of anything more sophisticated: the day Blackfish premiered at Sundance, on January 19, 2013, SeaWorld's stock was at $33.25. Today, it sits at $17.29. That's a 48% drop in stock price in large part because of director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and company. I do not revel in the fact that 300 people just lost their jobs as a result of SeaWorld's struggles, but the exploitation and torture of animals is certainly a cause worth fighting with our collective filmmaking abilities, and SeaWorld's stock chart in relation to Blackfish is a great example of the power of filmmaking. 

Today on Twitter, the war rages onAre you #OpSeaworld or #StandwithSeaWorld?     

Your Comment

7 Comments

Brilliant documentary, the truth shall be told. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it. It will make you feel sad about humans and maybe it will make you realize that in comparison to animals, we're not as smart as we think we are.

December 20, 2014 at 7:02PM

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Tommy Plesky
Director / D.P / Editor
1981

You need to look at both sides of the story and black fish doesn't tell either side accurately or with any credibility.

Here's a good run down of the incredible number of inaccuracies through the "movie" (not a documentary).

http://da15bdaf715461308003-0c725c907c2d637068751776aeee5fbf.r7.cf1.rack...

December 20, 2014 at 8:33PM

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Neil Fisher
ENG Camera & Editor
82

Who published that document? Most of the so called misleading content isn't very damning such as killer wales having a better quality of life in captivity because they have food and medical. You could use the same argument for humans in prison, which is such a narrow view of the issue. You're seriously clutching at straws to back up Seaworld!

December 21, 2014 at 3:50PM

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matt
894

Really? Because when I read that document I see 69 points that Blackfish intentionally distorted facts/lied about.

Would more help?

http://www.musingsonlifeandlove.com/2014/12/19/can-rational-seaworld/

December 21, 2014 at 10:47PM

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Neil Fisher
ENG Camera & Editor
82

Sorry but comparing whales to dogs is pretty poor. Most dog breeds have been domesticated over thousands of years and are incapable of survival in the wild. Orcas spend their lifetime with their mothers and have far higher brain function than canines. How is separating a orca and placing them in a small pen justifiable in any way?
Maybe the 100miles of swimming is a little far fetched for typical behaviour but these numbers are not unheard of. If you had to put a number on how many miles a human can travel in a day would you say 25 or 0? If I sit on my computer all day yes I will only do 0 but I would argue that humans are not meant to travel 0miles per day.

December 22, 2014 at 1:17AM

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matt
894

Great post! Yes just like a post on twitter can change the world as well. Every day people have more power than ever before.

December 21, 2014 at 11:56AM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1650

I think that stock price is a good indicator, but I think the more telling tale of change is looking at the number of animals in captivity or conditions in how they are kept. that to me would be real change.. because what happens to all these animals if Seaworld goes bankrupt?

My family has gone to Seaworld pre and post Blackfish (killer whales are a very small part of the park.). There were very minimal changes to what I could gather. They did show a short film on their treatment of whales and animals though.

December 22, 2014 at 8:53AM

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Ryan Hargrave
I make things
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