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Place your bets on Hollywood

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
March 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Think you know a good movie when you see one? Now you can bet on it."You have your opinion and you can make a little money on it and have some fun with it," said Howard Lutnick, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P.

So who is the target investor?

"You and your whole audience," said Lutnick. "It is a retail product."

The Cantor Exchange will be launching a Web site where you can bet on whether a movie will be a blockbuster hit or a miss.

Investors trade one dollar for every million they expect a movie to make in its first four weeks.

So if "Iron Man 2," is projected to open with $100 million in box office receipts, you could buy a contact for $100. If it does open with $100 million you break even. If the movie makes $150 million, you make $50 on the deal.

You can also bet against a movie. But for some Hollywood insiders, they're not sold on this being a Hollywood game changer.

"It is a little bit like going to the racetrack, but make no mistake it is not an incentive for movies," said Peter Guber, Mandalay Entertainment. "It is not really a benefit for the movie makers, investors or talent. It is about Wall Street and getting them money."

This is just the beginning of betting on everyday entertainment.

"Music would obviously be a great place to do it especially if someone was coming out with a new album, or a new song," said Lutnick.


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