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MPAA Fights Cantor Exchange

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 24, 2010 at 11:55AM

It does not surprise me that the MPAA is protesting Cantor Fitzgerald's launch of a Hollywood futures market, the Cantor Exchange.
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Thompson on Hollywood

It does not surprise me that the MPAA is protesting Cantor Fitzgerald's launch of a Hollywood futures market, the Cantor Exchange.

Cantor Fitzgerald explained how it would work on NPR's Marketplace. I am stymied by how anyone invested in the marketing or financing of a film could participate, as well as anyone with insider knowledge. That because it's about betting on future performance, apparently. The number of shares you get of a movie are based on a prediction of how well the box office is going to do.

Peter Bart tries to explain. And here's another piece at Variety:

On the upside, it's possible the major studios and indies could mitigate losses on their riskier films by trading futures contracts. And that reduction of risk could also attract additional investors...That could force marketing mavens to pony up additional coin to buy "contracts" of their films to give audiences the impression that their movies will be hits and are worth seeing.

And the LAT:

With handicapping the weekend box office now a topic around the family breakfast table, Cantor and Veriana hope they can harness the national obsession to create a safety net for the risky and expensive business of producing movies. If Universal Pictures, for instance, had traded a futures contract for "The Wolfman," it might have mitigated its losses on the recent flop.

This seems like so much folly to me.

Walletpop is so gung ho they're giving tips on how to win.

Listen to the NPR Marketplace report here:

This article is related to: Hollywood, Studios, Box Office


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.