Moviegoers who think they can predict the next box office hit will soon be able to put their hunches to the test on a new stock exchange for the movies. Starting next year, traders on the Cantor Exchange will be able to buy "shares" in a movie, and watch as its stock rises and falls on the strength of its audience figures. Surprise hits like "The Blind Side" could reap big profits for savvy investors. What does that mean for Hollywood? (Watch a report about the Hollywood Stock Exchange)
Good news for movie-makers: The Cantor Exchange could "reshape how movies are made and promoted," says Greg Burns in the Chicago Tribune. Distribution companies could "hedge the risk of pumping marketing dollars into a potential hit" by selling shares on the stock exchange as "protection in case the movie bombs." That's positive news for movie financiers, who "lack risk-management tools specific to the movies."
"Movie Futures: Coming to a screen near you?"
Bad news for movie lovers: Treating movies like commodities could be disastrous, says Hunter Stephenson at Slash Film.com. Producers might start betting on the ability of audiences to make the "most profitable creative decisions," thereby robbing us of "risky" films like Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr Fox." "Viewing movies as a popularity contest is not only ridiculous but harmful to the art."
"Website to allow box office betting in real dollars. What are the implications?"
This may never happen The Cantor Exchange might "need a play from the Blind Side" to get approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, says Ben Kaplan in the National Post. This sounds a lot like gambling, which is perhaps why the company has seen its SEC application "sit in limbo" for more than a year.
"Care for a share of James Cameron?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- The slippery slope of Twitter's attempts to stop harassment against women
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week