Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Blockbuster Movies—A New Investment Vehicle?

September 8, 2010

Blockbuster movies make money—lots of it. The box office totals for the summer of 2010, while not surpassing last year’s total of $4.19 billion, were $4.05 billion. Yes, the ongoing recession had an effect on ticket sales. Still, there was a lot of cha-chinging at movie theaters around the country.

Believe it or not, someone figured out a way to spread the box office wealth. According to an article in the April 28, 2010 Knowledge @ Wharton, an online business journal from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved a futures exchange that will match buyers and sellers of future movie receipts.  That means an investor can purchase a share of a particular movie’s future revenue stream. The exchange is sponsored by New York investment bank, Cantor Fitzgerald.

Not everyone is sold on the idea of an exchange based on a movie’s revenue. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Directors Guild of America oppose this exchange and a similar one developed by an Indiana based company called Media Derivatives. Many at the major studios feel that this would lead to insider trading and people betting against movies and using their influence to make sure that the film isn’t successful.  Of course, that is illegal, but that won’t stop some people with vendettas against those involved in the film. (See my blog entry of December 24, 2009, What Makes a Flop? )

While agricultural future exchanges, such as wheat, corn and pork bellies, are used as a way for both buyers and sellers to hedge their risk, the trouble comes when sellers have more information then buyers. In agricultural future exchanges, both buyer and seller have the same amount of information and the product is a commodity, meaning there is little differentiation of the product. That’s not the case with movies and movie studios. If a seller knows more than a buyer, for example, a movie studio knows that a certain movie won’t do well based on marketing tests, they will sell movies that will be box office duds, so as to get their money but not give any to investors. Since that is a concern, in April 2010 Senator Blanche Lincoln (D) from Arkansas and chairperson of the Senate Agriculture Committee that oversees commodity trading, sided with the studios and placed a ban on the exchange.

I don’t think that is the end of the story when it comes to financing movies. While blockbuster movies make money, they also cost money. So, something else will come along that allows people to invest in the movies.

Note: I am not endorsing any type of investment, nor am I soliciting for any financial or investment company.  The investments and companies mentioned in this blog entry are listed for informational purposes only.



Top 10 Grossing Movies of 2009

December 31, 2009

In case you are wondering what the top 10 grossing movies for 2009 are, here is the list:

1.)        Transformers:  Revenge Of The Fallen–$402,111,870
2.)        Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince–$301,959,197
3.)        UP–$293,004,164
4.)        The Twilight Saga: New Moon–$280,924,000 (Yuck! Vampires.)
5.)        The Hangover–$277,322,503
6.)        Star Trek–$257,730,019 (J.J. Abrams can sleep well, knowing that he has
a hit on his hands.)
7.)        AVATAR–$212,268,000 (James Cameron must be sleeping well, too.)
8.)        Monsters vs. Aliens–$198,351,526
9.)        Ice Age:  Dawn of the Dinosaurs–$196,573,705
10.)      The Blind Side–$184,387,000

Of course, there is a pattern to be found in this list and that is, for the most part, these are blockbuster films. All of the films, except for The Blind Side, are escapist cinema at its best. The good guy fights the villain, the villain goes to jail, the good guy gets the girl and they all live happily ever after, except for the villain. Of course, I like blockbuster films. Why? Because the good guy fights the villain, the villain goes to jail, etc, etc. With all do respect to independent film makers and their fans, I do enough thinking in my life and when its time to see a movie, I just want to sit back and enjoy the show. Obviously, lots of people feel the same way, because just look at the money these movies brought in over the course of 2009.

The trouble is if you or I were to do the same thing over and over, we would be scolded for not thinking “outside the box”. If the powers that be in Hollywood do the same thing over and over, they make loads of money. Well, I guess it is like that engineers’ saying, “If it works, it works.”

Top 10 Movies of 2009, Ice Age, AVATAR, James Cameron, Star Trek, J.J. Abrams, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Vampires, Harry Potter, Transformers, Hollywood



August 17, 2009

Hello and welcome to the Just Movie Posters blog.  This blog will be about movie posters (obviously), collecting and pop culture, as it relates to the movie industry.  If you are looking for a confessional blog, as in: “Waaah! My life sucks!” or “Hey, check out the pictures of what I did last night.” this isn’t the blog for you.  Believe it or not, this is my second attempt at blogging.  I tried blogging in 2006-2007 via my web site, Just Movie Posters.Com, but for various reasons I had to stop.  Anyway, let’s get this entry started.

One of my favorite television shows is PBS’ Antiques Roadshow*, which is the U.S. version of the BBC show of the same name. I enjoy seeing the items, hearing the stories of how the things were acquired and learning the history of the objects.  Yet, what is it that compels mature adults to collect things as such as baseball cards or paintings or vases or movie posters.  Shouldn’t we consider getting rid of our “junk” and decluttering our lifes?  Well, I think it is two things that compel collecting:

1. Beauty—A painting, vase, movie poster or even a baseball card (depending who is featured) is pleasing to the eye and can make one’s surroundings more pleasant.

2. Link To The Past—An object can remind us of days gone by when we were younger and less stressed, which in turn makes us feel good in the present.

Note, I didn’t add value. Why? Because not every old or new item is worth lots of money. If you are going to spend your money on something, and it doesn’t have to do with the biggies of food, shelter, taxes, healthcare, education and retirement, then the item you spend money on should give you some measure of joy.

Something to think about as you wade through your collection of baseball cards, paintings, vases, movie posters or whatever.

*To learn more about Antiques Roadshow go to and type in keyword Antiques Roadshow.