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Hollywood taps into NFT craze with Anthony Hopkins movie, using blockchain for auction

Hollywood is seeking a new revenue stream in the hot market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

With COVID-19 scaring away many moviegoers from theaters, and making blockbuster ticket sales harder to come by, a few entrepreneurs are getting more creative using blockchain technology.

Enter a brand-new science-fiction movie starring Anthony Hopkins, which will be the first film to be auctioned off as an NFT. “Zero Contact” is being auctioned off by Vuele, an NFT film distribution platform that hopes to become a new model for the future of film distribution.

Produced in 17 different countries (entirely virtually) during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, “Zero Contact” follows five characters based all over the world, connected only by their devotion to the late founder and tech titan Finley Hart, played by Hopkins.

“What we’re setting up to do is prove that there’s a revenue stream in Hollywood that’s never existed before,” Rick Dugdale, director, producer & Vuele Co-Founder, told Yahoo Finance Live in an interview.

NFTs use blockchain technology to create secure transactions to authenticate digital art from movies to music and artwork. The NFT-based film will run on the CurrencyWorks blockchain, which has cross-chain capabilities with Ethereum.

“The future of the film business is blockchain…This could be a scenario where prior to theatrical release or home entertainment a film is released as an NFT,” Dugdale added.

According to Dugdale, movie makers could make a few hundred thousand dollars off an NFT release, and then the film could continue on its traditional pathway to theaters.

In addition to offering a potential new revenue stream for the industry that offers movie buffs a chance to own a piece of a film, it also represents an opportunity for deeper fan engagement that a traditional release wouldn’t include.

Two NFT auctions initially offered the film on OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, with a bonus auction just added for Tuesday night on the platform.

The first auction closed Monday night featuring a grouping of a “10 of 10” elite edition NFTs; though reserves were not met. Vuele is now offering a second rapid fire auction Tuesday night, where bidders will have another chance to bid on the film NFT offering from 5 pm to 7 pm Eastern. 

The bid price will start at 3 ethereum digital coins (ETH-USD), roughly $8,500 as of Tuesday’s spot rates.

As a bonus, Vuele is also raffling off an NFT of the film to one bidder as a raffle prize, and a special auction will let one winner join the cast in a walk-on role for the Zero Contact Universe also closes Tuesday night. Fans also will have an opportunity to be edited into the feature film itself.

An added feature is that the NFTs offer puzzles that fans can compete to solve and win prizes, building camaraderie.

“It’s all designed around engaging fans and getting them to come back,” Dugdale told Yahoo Finance. “When people see a movie on screen in theaters that can be the end of it. So we’re looking at this as a way to engage them and have them come back into our universe.”


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