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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Hollywood and politicians join forces to oppose film futures exchanges

A coalition of Hollywood players and politicians have joined forces to oppose two new electronic futures exchange for trading movie box office receipt contracts.

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Betting on Creativity and a Whole lot of Remakes

Is betting on the Hollywood really any riskier than betting on credit default swaps?  Think about it.  Imagine you are traveling back in time and the director of Braindead and The Frighteners came to you with an idea to direct a trilogy of three hour length films (yes, 3 hours for each) based on a novel written more than 50 years ago.  To make sure that you were salivating at the prospect of investing in his project, he also let slip that the movies would take three years to film so your investment would not be able to payoff quickly.  Would you be rushing to open up your wallet to invest?   Probably not. 

But of course, years later when the Lord of the Rings had made billions worldwide and won Peter Jackson a few Oscars and other accolades, you'd be kicking yourself for the lost opportunity.  You would have forgotten that this investment could just as easily have turned into a fiasco like Motherhood which made a whooping $131 dollars in its opening weekend.  Now I'm not faulting Motherhood because I haven't seen it and it may be a great film but the simple truth is that Hollywood gets it wrong more often than it gets it right.  At least if you are basing right on box office alone. 

Speculating on Hollywood is not new.  In fact, it's usually what the person with the executive producer title does first and foremost.  They bet that they will make a profit or at least break even on the films they and the people they represent invest in.   So if Hollywood's primary objection to the launch of exchanges is that they will encourage, " rampant speculation and financial irresponsibility" too late.  Someone somewhere has already lined up to invest in the tidal wave of 80's remakes that are heading for a theatre or DVD near you including such classics as “The A-Team,” “The Karate Kid,” “Red Dawn,” and that always timely “Wall Street” re-do “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”  The problem with Hollywood's response to the launch of an exchange is not that it encourages risk but that it shines a spotlight on the big money invested and opens the game to a whole lot of outsiders.  Of course, the problem could be that people might realize how often Hollywood goes to the well of creativity and comes up dry. 


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Retired Member

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19 Mar 2009


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