Times are tough, and most of us are all looking for creative ways to make an extra buck. Today, in one of our more desperate hours of need, we learned a new way earn some decent cash: Did you know you could bid on royalties for films you had absolutely no hand in making?
Offered through the auctioneers at Royalty Exchange, bidders can pony up right now for the chance to own a portion of 21 major studio film residuals released between 1976 and 2002. While some of them probably aren’t the most profitable titles out there right now—like 1991's The Perfect Weapon, from the guy who made Kickboxer—there are some actually surprising, potentially still lucrative movies in there. Like, for example, four Star Trek sequels.
Right now, you’ve got about five days left to buy a chunk of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, as well as the First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis entries. Other weird, left-field titles in the batch include Along Came a Spider, Beverly Hills Cop III, Futureworld (the 1976 sequel to the original Westworld), and The Crow 2: City of Angels.
“Over the last six calendar years, this asset has generated payments averaging about $3,400/year, with the highest-earning distribution totaling $5,598 in 2018,” reads the auction page description. As of writing this, the top bid is coming in at just over $35,000, so the asset could conceivably pay for itself in...a decade or so. Honestly, we have no idea how buying up old movie distribution rights could turn up a profit, unless more people than we assume mix up the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence Bad Boys franchise with the completely different, Sean Penn-starring Bad Boys film from 1983. We’re willing to give this whole thing a shot, though, if anyone wants in on a piece of Truck Turner.