In May 2012, a Florida judge ruled that SeaWorld killer whale trainers can no longer get into the water with orcas and must be protected by physical barriers. SeaWorld is appealing. Still, the park doesn't seem to be hurting much: In 2011, attendance at its three locations rose 5.2% to 12.1 million, from 11.5 million in 2010, according to the Themed Entertainment Assn.'s global attractions attendance report.
But other animal activists believe "Blackfish" may reduce attendance at SeaWorld. Louie Psihoyos, the director of the Oscar-winning 2009 documentary "The Cove," said that if his movie about dolphin slaughter in Japan "gave these guys a black eye, hopefully this will be a knockout punch to SeaWorld."