'Finding Dory' Could Be More Bad News For Sea World

The latest data from TickerTags indicates that Walt Disney Co DIS's upcoming movie “Finding Dory” could be a huge hit for Disney and a major blow for one Disney rival.

TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words or phrases that appear together in social media content, such as tweets.

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“Finding Dory” is expected to be box office smash for Disney, but the film’s anti-captivity message could also deal a harsh blow to the company’s Orlando theme park rival SeaWorld Entertainment Inc SEAS.

Social media mentions of “dory” + “seaworld” and “dory” + “captivity” have already spiked several times so far this year. When the movie opens nationwide on June 17, SeaWorld may get hit hard by public backlash.

SeaWorld has spent recent years fighting public outcries related to its captive orca Tilikum, which was the subject of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" and is now extremely ill.

SeaWorld’s stock is down 51.8 percent in the past five years as public opinion about wildlife captivity has swung against the company. In that same time, Disney’s stock is up 57.9 percent.

If early social media buzz is any indication, “Finding Dory” could usher in the next negative wave of PR for SeaWorld, which could ultimately endure another hit to its bottom line.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

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