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Think You Know Box Office? You Can Bet On It

Yesterday, betting on Hollywood hits and misses was just a fake-money game you played. But now putting actual money down on box office winners and losers is not so far away. At least according to the website Hollywood Stock Exchange, which has announced it plans to roll out a real-money, futures-trading exchange based on the projected performance of upcoming films.

Andy Wing, CEO of HSX's parent company, tells Reuters that the futures-trading roll-out is set to happen in 90 days pending regulatory approval. " ... We're close to the end zone," he said.

People can do such trading now, just not with real money. It's more of a game. If HSX's plans come through, however, it will institute a new way for Wall Street and Main Street investors to gamble on Hollywood. Trades will be based on four-week box-office projections for upcoming films.

Investors would be able to bet "long" for a movie's success or "short" if they think it will fail to meet projections. Contracts at one-one millionth of a movie's projected box office will be sold so that investors can take out chunks of smaller bets (Reuters notes that a film projected to gross $60 million would cost a minimum of $60 to bet on).

Wing says he hopes the exchange will prove attractive to Hollywood producers who could use it to hedge their bets on projects they realize will fail or do better than expected.