Despite uniform opposition in Hollywood, stirred up by the MPAA, there appears to be a high likelihood for approval of Wall Street plans to bet on movie box office performance, according to a Bloomberg report today. It cites several sources that claim the Commodity Futures Trading Commission staff will recommend plans by Media Derivatives and Cantor Fitzgerald to create the futures program despite the potential for conflicts and manipulations. That decision could come this week, and Bloomberg reports it may be in time for Cantor Fitzgerald to sell box office contracts for Iron Man 2 as its first film.
Interestingly, Bloomberg quotes Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns as seeing an upside. Burns, one of the founders of the Hollywood Stock Exchange web site that is serving as a model for Cantor’s formula, opined that “if the studios have a chance to have an equity position in the actual exchange, if Cantor offers that, I think that’s a giant win-win. I think it will ultimately become a terrific hedging vehicle for the studios. You can buy corn futures, orange juice futures, it makes no sense you can’t buy movie futures.”
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