Cantor Fitzgerald, a leading Wall Street brokerage house which operates the fake futures exchange Hollywood Stock Exchange, now wants a real-life one. It’s seeking permission from U.S. regulators to set up a futures exchange to trade contracts on the expected weekend box office of major motion pictures. This is beyond ridiculous (and not just because it gives me nightmares that I’ll do DHD weekend box office and suddenly have to answer to the SEC). Here’s why: “This could lead to another source of revenue for studios who can make their own bets on movies they are releasing to increase total revenue take or hedge losses,” one financial source explained to me. “Who knows if it will take off but interesting nonetheless.” According to a company statement, Cantor Fitzgerald LP has asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to create this new exchange that plans to make domestic box office sales its first product traded on the Cantor Exchange in the First Quarter of 2009. Bloomberg reported that the contract is designed to let the film industry hedge and speculate on the theatrical performance of movies, and based on the first four weeks of a film’s release. Cantor’s Hollywood Stock Exchange is a virtual stock market that forecasts ticket sales and box office performance based on mock trading by users of the site.

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.