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Posts Tagged ‘oscars’

What’s Next?

March 8, 2010 1 comment

The 2010 Academy Awards have officially come and gone, and the Intrade contracts were a smashing success from a volume perspective. I stopped trading the Best Picture contracts about 15 minutes before the Best Picture announcement last night (and wow that was the quickest Oscar announcement I’ve ever seen), but I think both the “Avatar” and “Hurt Locker” contracts did over 10k shares each.

So with the conclusion of the high-volume Oscars, the logical question is “what’s next?” on Intrade and other betting exchanges. I generally like to trade contracts with a short to medium time horizon (expiry within three months), so that’s what my focus is in this post.

The ObamaCare contracts have been fairly hot lately, with volume approaching the magic 10k mark on the June expiry contract. Personally, I’ve never traded a single share of this particular contract (I shorted the public option contracts in size several months back), but there have been several inflection points and certainly there will be several more before it’s all said and done. This Eric Massa/Rahm Emmanuel tiff could end up being a harbinger of future problems for ObamaCare.

Another set of contracts to keep an eye on are the Tiger Woods contracts. If you read this blog, you’ll know that these contracts are near and dear to my heart. I’ll have an update post on the Tiger situation later this week, but the longs have had these contracts by the teeth for the past week, so those with a short preference might find a good entry point here in the next couple days.

If the box office is your cup of tea there are actually four new movies coming out this weekend, and I see that Intrade has contracts up for all four and *gasp* there are actually competitive spreads on some of the contracts.

There are of course the myriad of different political contracts on Intrade. Most of these have longer time horizons, however there are a couple hot political contracts right now with shorter time horizons. The David Patterson resignation contract definitely comes to mind, as does the March Obama approval contracts.

Good trading to all this week.

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Academy Award Positions

March 7, 2010 2 comments

Everyone and their brother has a post about who will win what tonight and why, so I’ll just post the important stuff. These are a combination of Intrade positions and bets at various books.

Best Actress Dress Designer
Alexander McQueen: +50
Other: -5

Best Director
Bigelow: +119
Other: -438

Best Supporting Actress
Monique: +18
Other: -105

Best Supporting Actor

Waltz: +30
Other: -441

Best Actor
Bridges: +60
Other: -353

Best Actress
Streep: +37
Bullock: -12
Other: -42

Best Foreign Film
The White Ribbon: +26
The Prophet: -14
Other: -54

Best Picture
Locker: +455
Basterds +295
Avatar: -395
Other: -50

Edit1: Added more Bridges. Almost margined out on Intrade for the first time since the 2008 election.

The Oscars!

February 16, 2009 1 comment

Intrade has a plethora of contracts for the upcoming Academy Awards next Sunday (2/22).  Let’s have a look to see if there’s anything overpriced, underpriced etc.

All prices current as of midnight EST Sunday 2/15.

Contract: Academy Award for Best Picture
Slumdog Millionaire – 83.5
Benjamin Button – 11.0
Milk – 4.0
Frost/Nixon – 1.5
The Reader – 1.5

Slumdog Millionaire is the big favorite in this category and for good reason. The film won both the Golden Globe and BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards and has generated the most Oscar buzz in recent weeks and months. Expect Benjamin Button to win some of the less artistic Oscars, but Slumdog is a safe buy up to 90 in my opinion.

Contract: Academy Award for Best Actress

Kate Winslet – 66.5
Meryl Streep – 18.5
Anne Hathaway – 13.0
Angelina Jolie – 3.0
Melissa Leo – 2.0

Hathaway has generated little buzz, hasn’t snagged any awards in the 2009 season, and is thus overpriced at 13.0. I do see a lot of value in Streep at 18.5 compared to Winslet. Streep is up for her performance in “Doubt” while Winslet was nominated for her role in “The Reader.” Most of the popular press and buzz has been focused on Winslet simply because she’s been nominated for Oscars on multiple occasions over the last decade but has yet to win a golden statue. The reason I see a lot of value in Streep at her current price is because of the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Award she snagged back on January 25th. The actors of SAG make up the majority of the Oscar voters, so it stands to reason that if Streep has already won an award from the largest Oscar voting block, she stands a decent chance of walking home with the best actress Oscar next Sunday. Ultimately, Winslet’s “Susan Lucci’esque” history at the Oscars may be too much for Oscar voters to ignore, but I would buy Streep up to somewhere in the 25-30 range.

Contract: Academy Award for Best Actor
Mickey Rourke – 59.0
Sean Penn – 35.0
Frank Langella – 6.0
Brad Pitt – 1.5
Richard Jenkins – 1.0

This year’s best actor Oscar is like a prize fight between two menacing contenders. Rourke and Penn both gave what critics deemed “the performance of a lifetime” but only one can go home with the award. So far this awards season Rourke captured the Golden Globe and BAFTA, while Penn won the arguably more important (see above) SAG award in January. These two were both trading around the 45 mark until Rourke’s BAFTA win two weeks ago. Both also have a compelling case for the award: the Academy loves a good comeback (Rourke), but the Academy has also felt pressure in recent years to recognize a straight actor in a gay role in the wake of the Brokeback Mountain snub three years ago and California’s passage of Prop 8 in November. Penn would certainly fit the bill with his excellent portrayal of gay politician Harvey Milk, but the older Oscar voters are notorious for going their own way and ignoring any overt social trends at work. I think Rourke may be a bit overpriced at 59.0; my fair value would be something closer to Rourke 52, Penn 42.

Contract: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger – 95.0

I’m not going to waste much time or space here. The late Ledger’s win in this category is perhaps the biggest “lock” in Oscar history. If you have any spare funds, buy him up to 100 (well…98.6 for you actual Intrade traders out there, as you lose money on trading fees past that price).

Contract: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz – 60.0
Viola Davis – 17.0
Amy Adams – 6.0
Marisa Tomei – 15.0
Taraji Henson – 4.5

While Cruz’s bloated price may lead you to believe the contrary, in my opinion the best actress category is in fact a wide open race. Both the Golden Globe and SAG award for this category went to Kate Winslet, and the perception was she would be a shoe-in for a win come next Sunday, but then the Academy instead decided to nominate her for the best actress category. The popular press then piled on the Penelope Cruz bandwagon for her performance in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” despite much acclaim for Davis’ and Adams’ respective performances in “Doubt” and Tomei’s role as a stripper in “The Wrestler.” To Cruz’s credit, she did pick up the BAFTA for best supporting actress, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see another name called on Oscar night. While definitely the favorite, I’d sell Cruz down to the high 40’s.

Contract: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film
Wall-e – 90.0
Kung-Fu Panda – 6.0
Bolt – 3.9

Another free money pick, Wall-e will win this award in a walk and I would buy the little guy up to 100.

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