Entertainment

You Too Can Be a Film Mogul, on New Hollywood Stock Exchange

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Have you always thought that you have a knack for predicting which films will do well at the box office or what up-and-coming actors will become A-List stars? Well, now you can put your money where your mouth is on the new Hollywood Stock Exchange and make, or lose, a fortune betting on the movies.

The HSX, as it is called, is not really new. Since 1998 it has run a Web site that allowed users to bet pretend money on the films they thought would do well, and which would bomb. But starting April 20, users will risk real money on their hunches.

Formal rules are expected to be announced closer to the launch date. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, it will work like this:

Investors wishing to participate in the exchange will buy "contracts" priced at one one-millionth of a film's projected box office, with films to be listed on the exchange from the time productions are announced in the industry trade papers. Trading will begin six months before a movie's anticipated wide release.

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HSX is owned by the U.K.-based investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

"The number of people who visit movie theaters each year and form opinions about a film's success is in the tens of millions," Cantor Exchange president Richard Jaycobs said. "We believe that's the reason the public response to this product has been very positive."

Cantor Entertainment chief Andrew Wing said the exchange targets movie distributors, exhibitors, producers and other investors seeking "an unprecedented public market to create liquidity and hedge their daily business activities."

There undoubtedly will be rules limiting the activity of movie professionals to guard against insider trading.