A fancy “futures” version of “Will It Recoup?” for Hollywood.

Cantor Fitzgerald is betting that there are a lot of people that want to be a part of the movie biz.

Last week, the New York Times announced that the financial firm is in the final stages of approval for a futures exchange on the success (or lack thereof) of Hollywood movies.

Here’s how it’ll work:

Think the new Will Ferrell movie will bring in $100 million during its opening weekend?  Buy a $100 million contract for 100 bucks.  If it does $150 million? You make $50.  If it does $50 million?  You lose $50.

Fun, right?  CF has been testing the potential interest in this market on its faux site, HSX.com, which allows you to play fantasy Hollywood with fantasy dollars. Check it out here.

Obviously the test went well, because they are proceeding full speed ahead and expect regulatory clearance on their actual exchange on April 20th.

The execs at CF expect participation from studios (a hedge against their own films?), institutions, and movie lovers who want who want to put their money where their mouth is. As Richard Jaycobs, the president of Cantor Exchange said, “I’ve worked in the futures industry for a long time and none of the products has the overall appeal that this does.  This just has a tremendous potential audience.”

Think we can get them to create a Broadway Futures Exchange next?

I’d put my money where my e-mouth is that there’s a tremendous potential audience for Broadway investment involvement as well . . . it’s just that most people don’t know how to be involved.

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Until they do create that exchange, we’ve got ‘Will It Recoup’ . . . and to give you a quick update, we did put one in the YES column when A View From The Bridge announced.  Other than that, it’s still anyone’s game (although there are a few shows out there that are unfortunately already on the brink).

  • Sarah says:

    As long as all those investors don’t inject themselves into the artistic process (can you imagine the cacophony that would create?), I think this model has definite potential. I hope producers would use it to promote not only star vehicles (in film or on stage), but exciting new works that may never otherwise find the funding.

  • RLewis says:

    wow, it sounds like such investing could start out great (for people with money), but they’ll have to allow Short Selling, and that’s when some smartasses will make tons of money bringing Broadway to its knees.

  • Kate says:

    The execs at CF expect participation from studios
    What constitutes insider trading in this market? Contracts start 6 months before release. HSX shows significant price movement in the contracts around the time the first reviews/festival showings appear. What if you had advance access to a screening and could buy/sell contracts on a movie before it even hit the festivals?

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