Movie Investing for Those With Deep Pockets

Putting up capital isn’t usually how corn-fed, dreamy-eyed boys and girls across America hope to break into the Entertainment industry. As of this week, though, it might be the most accessible way for them to do it. The New York Times reports:

A start-up, Junction Investments, plans to open for business on Wednesday, allowing wealthy individuals to invest in movies alongside veteran film financiers.

At the start, the company will offer an online chance to back “A Hologram for the King,” an adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel that will star Tom Hanks. Soon after, would-be mini-moguls will be able to invest in “Triple Nine,” a thriller featuring Kate Winslet, the “12 Years a Slave” star Chiwetel Ejiofor and Woody Harrelson.

The Junction Investments-backed films are films that will be made anyway, with or without your cash. They are not Tinkerbells that will die if you don’t clap, like the Veronica Mars movie, which became a three-dimensional manifestation of an audience’s enthusiasm after its on-a-whim launching on Kickstarter.

Of course, Veronica Mars is no slouch: upon opening, it immediately made $2 million. (“In so many of their complexes, Veronica Mars was the No. 1 movie for the entire weekend, far exceeding the next closest movie,” says Goldstein. … The per theater average was about $6,945.”)

Junction offers its investors (who who make $200,000 a year or have a net worth of more than $1 million) sure things, films that already have backing, meaning risk would be minimal. But what would be the reward, besides, presumably, some financial return? Will you get to see your name in the credits? (“That will be up to each film’s backers.”) Will you get an Associate Producer credit, a la David Mamet’s Hollywood satire State and Main? (“What’s an associate producer credit?” “It’s what you give to your secretary instead of a raise.”)

The new Junction website sells the venture as “Passion Meets Profit.” Why put your money in soulless real estate or, worse, soul-killing companies like Lockheed Martin or Phillip Morris, when you could, for $1 million measly dollars, touch the stars? Some people snicker about Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling” over their copies of US Weekly; others get to feel involved in the next Iron Man. For a certain type of film buff millionaire investor, I guess, it’s a no-brainer.

Ester Bloom lives in Brooklyn.

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