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Congress set to ban box-office trading

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Early this morning Congress approved an amendment to the Wall Street reform bill that, if passed, will ban the trading of derivatives based on box-office results from movies, otherwise known as “movie futures,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.  A House-Senate committee added the amendment to the bill after protracted discussion. The bill is expected to pass through both governing bodies prior to the summer recess on July 2, after which President Barack Obama will likely sign it into law. Several Hollywood entities—from the MPAA and talent guilds to movie exhibitors—lobbied for the amendment.

With the so-called “movie futures,” a company by the name of Media Derivates, Inc., had intended to establish a market in which investors can trade on future film-ticket sales, assuming the financial risk usually shouldered by movie studios and independent producers. Unless the bill is thwarted, this puts the skids on the company’s plan, although Media Derivates has said they will mount a challenge to such roadblocks with a lawsuit.