Box-Office Betting Gets Go-Ahead

You don’t have to be Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, or an executive at Paramount to reap a hefty payday from the success of Iron Man 2. According to Variety, U.S. government regulators have granted approval — albeit with a few corallaries — to Media Derivatives, Inc., a company seeking to offer online trading of “film futures” tied to the box office performance of major Hollywood films. If you’ve got a hunch that a certain big-budget comic book sequel is overhyped, you’ll be able to put your money where your mouth is and short its stock. Conversely, if you’re convinced that it’s headed to Avatar heights, you can ride a long position all the way to the bank.

Filmmaking industry luminaries have lined up in opposition to the idea, claiming that it will invite “rampant speculation.” Because movie producers have always had such a stellar reputation for responsible business practices.