Box office futures have no future as financial reform passes Senate

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The Senate put the final nail in the coffin of proposals to create box office futures markets today with the passage of financial reform legislation.

President Obama has said he will sign the bill, which includes a provision inserted at the behest of the major studios that bans trading contracts based on movies’ box office performance. The studios said trading in box office futures could create negative publicity before a movie opens and would be easily manipulated, while backers said they would be a valuable financial tool for the industry.

The Senate had been expected to pass the bill. Once a House-Senate committee hammering out the final language of the bill kept the box office futures ban in place, the two firms preparing to create such markets conceded that their days were probably numbered even though they had won approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Richard Jaycobs, the head of Cantor Exchange, said in a recent interview that his company was exploring other options in entertainment finance.


-- Ben Fritz


Senate passes landmark financial rules overhaul Watching a big bet on box office futures go sour