The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) has approved a proposal by Media Derivatives to set up a futures exchange trading in box office opening weekends.

Despite opposition from the Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA), the Directors Guild Of America, various politicians and other bodies, the CTFC allowed the measure to pass on Friday [16].

Media Derivatives is owned by Veriana Networks and will return to the CTFC seeking approval for its specific box office contracts. Insiders expect what will be called the Trend Exchange to be up and running by the third quarter.

On Tuesday [20] the CTFC will review a second, separate proposal by Cantor Exchange that if approved will allow members of the public to trade on ticket sale predictions.

Opponents to futures exchange say the schemes could lead to market manipulation and may allow a studio to short its own film, whereby it makes money from betting that a weak film will not perform well in its opening weekend.

The MPAA has expressed support for a motion tabled by politicians to outlaw online film futures exchanges.