Futures market for movies -- yay or nay?

Looks like we have a couple of futures markets being set up to handle bets on movies. At the rate that we are going, we will have a derivatives market for almost anything pretty soon ;) The Globe & Mail picks up a New York Times story detailing the futures markets for movies being set up:

Cantor Futures Exchange, a subsidiary of Cantor Fitzgerald, expects to open an online futures market next month that will allow studios, institutions and moviegoers to place bets on the box-office revenue of Hollywood's biggest releases. Last week, the company learned from regulators that customers could start putting money into their accounts on March 15.


Betting on the success of Hollywood releases has long been a parlor game for moviegoers. In 2001, Cantor Fitzgerald bought the Web site HSX.com (for “Hollywood Stock Exchange“), where users can place bets with play money on a film's box-office success; smart traders win little more than satisfaction. Mr. Jaycobs said that he hoped to lure a sizable portion of that site's 200,000 active users to the real futures exchange


Veriana Networks, a privately owned media and technology company, plans to operate a competing trading exchange, called Trend Exchange, in Chicago after receiving regulatory approval, which the company expects later this month. Trend Exchange, however, will work only with professional and institutional investors and will build the market slowly...

The last thing we need in society is for more people to waste their money gambling. However, unlike a slots machine or Russian roulette in a casino, these futures markets should provide better insight into the underlying activity—price discovery for the movie business, if you will. Market participants involved in the actual underlying business will also be able to achieve limited hedging of their risk.


  1. Sivaram, you may wish to see Barbarian Capital's take on this here:


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