Cantor Fitzgerald is set to launch an electronic futures exchange in April that lets traders hedge and speculate on the financial performance of movies.
The firm already owns the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX), which has been operating since 1998, enabling users to play the market with virtual cash.
In 2008 Finextra reported that Cantor had applied to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to launch a real money exchange.
Now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the HSX is "tentatively" set to launch on 20 April as a real exchange, although it is still in the final phase of the regulatory process.
Investors will be able to buy contracts priced at one one-millionth of a film's projected boxoffice, with movies listed from the time productions are announced in the industry trade papers. Trading will begin six months before a movie's anticipated release, says the Reporter.
Ahead of the launch, Cantour is inviting people to join its "It Pays to Practice" promotion that lets players earn real cash from practice trading. Participants receive 10,000 "virtual dollars" in a Cantor Exchange practice account, and at the end of the promotion on 31 March the firm will convert each 1000 virtual dollars of profit into $10 cash and deposit it into the player's real-money trading account.