Yesterday, SeaWorld reported a loss of more than $25 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, while attendance to the company's 11 parks fell 2.2 percent, from 4.5 million to 4.4 million, during the same period a year ago. Attendance fell 4.3 percent during the entire year, from 23.4 million in 2013 to 22.4 million – down a million, but that's still too many people who go through the gate.
Yet perceptions of SeaWorld seem now indelibly changed by the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which had serial broadcasts on CNN in addition to other widespread showings. The company's stock is down 41 percent over the last 12 months, after the public learned of the prior history of wild captures of orcas, the deaths of several trainers, and the opinions of so many leading whale scientists that the animals cannot possibly have a rich life in tanks. SeaWorld's CEO even stepped down at the end of last year amid this mess.