Royalties on 1983 Finance Classic ‘Trading Places’ Go Up for Bid

(Bloomberg) -- It’s not quite a secret report on the orange crop, but fans of the film "Trading Places" looking for their next investment can bid on a producer’s share of royalties for the 1983 comedy classic.

The comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd has become a finance favorite with its depiction of commodities trading. Its original theatrical run grossed $90 million and the film is considered a Christmas classic in Italy, where it is rebroadcast every Christmas Eve. The movie even merited a mention in the 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation, which prohibited insider trading on commodities in a provision that Gary Gensler, then chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, dubbed “the Eddie Murphy rule.”

The bidding is hosted by online auction house Royalty Exchange and is its first attempt at selling film residuals. If it holds until the auction closes Wednesday, the current winning bid of $74,700 would obtain a producer’s share of the residuals generated by television rebroadcasts and streaming, worth $7,988 last year.

Royalty Exchange declined to provide information on the seller. The film’s sole credited producer, Aaron Russo, died of cancer in 2007. In his later years, Russo turned to politics. His last production, 2006’s "America: Freedom to Fascism," criticized the IRS and Federal Reserve, and in 2004 he lost a race to be the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president.

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