Betting On Hollywood? Write A Better Script

Farmers do it. So do currency and gold traders, and coffee growers.

Why shouldn't movie executives?

Yet a lot of nay-sayers have turned up in the wake of two companies looking to establish a futures commodity market based on the movie business.

Movie executives are up in arms, saying there could be insiders looking to manipulate the marketplace. What they are really worrying about are people looking to kill their movies.

 The already-fragile egos of those in Hollywood feel this is too much, that test audiences for movies will look to derail future opening of movies.

There is speculation in any business - some organized, some not. When there is information to get, people will look to buy and sell on that information. Maybe it's just a bit more complicated for entertainment -- or maybe I've been misled into thinking so.



Some are complaining a futures commodity market is really gambling. But you can say that about any commodity. Add in buying and selling stocks, for that matter.

It's as if movies executives are saying, what we do is not a business -- it's art or entertainment, but not "commerce." Since tens and hundreds of millions of dollars exchange hands, I beg to differ. 

Interest in movies has never been higher. Why do an increasing number of consumer publications publish Monday morning box-office results? Because consumers must be interested. 

Movies can be vapor-ware to begin with. Why does one work and others don't? Some seemingly badly written films wind up as big hits. This is why movie studios don't want a commodity exchange that'll take the temperature of the movie-making process every day.

 Congress doesn't like the idea of a commodity exchange based on movies because it adds to the level of gambling in this country. Perhaps they should cut back on the number of state lotteries first.

 I'm hoping the future commodity market goes deeper -- into running shoes, M&Ms, sisal rugs and spec movie scripts.

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