Want to Invest in a Movie? The Lure of Equity Crowdfunding

Update: As of Tuesday, December 4, 2018, I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas will be out and available on digital (iTunes, Amazon, etc.)! 

Isn’t there a little bit inside all of us with stars in our eyes that has us dreaming about what it might be like to be a movie star? Even if you don’t want to admit it out loud, you probably have wanted to find out about Hollywood and its glamorous, glittery trappings, right? You know you have.

These days you can invest in everything from a movie to a basketball team through equity crowdfunding. Here's more about the process and what's out there.

Interestingly enough, these days you could be an insider to the movie business as well as dozens of other great industries by sticking your toe into online equity crowdfunding. And you don’t have to be a “Warren Buffet type” to get involved either! It can be done with a little online research, as little as 100 bucks, and a couple of keystrokes on your home computer.

Making investments in a business or funding your new business by soliciting investors is certainly not a new idea. But obtaining small equity investments from the public to fund startup businesses so they get a possible passive stream of income is a fairly new method. In fact, Regulation Crowdfunding investments were only permitted with a change in the JOBS Act that went into effect in May 2016.

There are internet platforms out there for funding portals registered with the SEC that are looking to attract investors into new and existing businesses. These sites include Wefunder, StartEngine, and Microventures, among others. The opportunities include everything from electric bicycles to fashion rentals to making a new Hollywood movie! The I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas movie is just one example that is currently raising funds from small investors online for a production that is set to premiere in November 2017.  More about that in a minute.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

StartEngine is a great chance to earn some passive income getting involved with some really dynamic and creative new ventures that might just be the next “big” thing! It’s an equity crowdfunding platform, second leading in the nation, that connects startup companies with online investors all over the world. It all began just over 5 years ago and is growing every day. It’s a golden opportunity for small investors to gain access to a new source of investment income and for new businesses to raise funds through the StartEngine website in a quick and dramatic fashion. Numerous success stories now exist which are featured on their home page. Although duly noted here, like any investment, nothing is ever guaranteed to become profitable. The record so far has shown lots and lots of success stories.

What Kind of Investments are Available?

There are really no industries that are not options on the list of companies trying to reach you for funding their new businesses. While there are tech companies leading a new wave of investment opportunities, other choices range from retailers to sports franchises and from manufacturing to travel and tourism. If you have an idea for a new business or service, raining money this way has become a big business in itself. And then there is the investor’s story too!

Right now, there are 32 investment opportunities on the StartEngine site. You can simply register and sign in to become part of the ground floor process, igniting what can turn into the next “hero” project around. For as little as that $100 investment, not only can you make some money, but you just might be part of something that changes everything with its innovational idea.

How Would You Like to be a Part of Hollywood?

That Christmas movie, I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas really caught my eye! It’s one of the opportunities that appear on the list seeking to raise funds to help produce a new movie for the upcoming holiday season. You can read all the details on their StartEngine page (Update 07/27/2017: they are now on WeFunder), from the award-winning team producing the film to their budget and plans for release, as well as the investment opportunity itself.

“Unlike Kickstarter campaigns — where you simply make donations or buy rewards — equity crowdfunding gives you a financial interest in an actual company. We’re giving audiences more than a movie. We’re giving them a chance to be part of the filmmaking process, as well as the chance to make money while doing so,” said producer/director David Willis, founder and CEO of That Christmas Movie LLC. “Not only is I’ll Be Next Door For Christmas the world’s first Christmas movie to use investment crowdfunding, it is the very first feature-length narrative film to successfully do so in the United States. Now, the average person can have something big Hollywood stars get — a chance to make money from a movie.”

The way you invest and get a return is pretty straightforward. You’ll get 100% of your initial investment back from the adjusted gross proceeds of the film (hopefully there will be lots) and then 50% of your investment of the film’s adjusted gross proceeds after that in perpetuity (that’s forever in case you didn’t know). That valuation is projected at $2 million over the forever lifetime!

And just in case you really want to be a part of a Hollywood picture, there’s even a contest to win a speaking role in the movie!

Why Invest in a Movie?

Until just recently a small investor couldn’t get involved in helping to produce a movie with a small investment. Think about it for a second. How much of a return would you have gotten on a venture like Titanic had you had an opportunity to invest in it back in the 1997? By the way, it has grossed $2 billion worldwide since then.

The reasons that this is a great opportunity are pretty exciting. One, this is the first ever feature film to be financed this way so you will be part of history in a real sense. Second, it’s a Christmas film…everyone loves them and there really isn’t any reason why it wouldn’t be a success with the team that is working this production. You can read all of their credentials on the investment pages and I know you will be impressed. Then there’s a real interesting production edge being used here to cut costs so this picture can come in with a low budget without sacrificing its quality and standards. It is very well explained on the how and why it can be made for less than it would be seem. Plus keep in mind, the lower the production costs (under $1 million), the faster the time frame to profitability and potential income streams for its investors.

The window of opportunity will be closing on this investment in just a few weeks, but there are literally dozens of other investments listed on the site. You can make an educated investment decision with the information spelled out on each venture, plus you can ask questions as well.

Hmmm, a passive income stream that you may benefit from forever? Does it sound like something you could get used to without too much effort? Investment income opportunities do have definite risks, so never invest if you can’t afford to lose your investment. But you never know, you just may find the next Facebook or Amazon out there and that would be an amazing thing.

Have you pursued an equity crowdfunding investment online? Would you ever consider this type of investment? Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?


  1. Interesting article Gary. I believe online equity crowdfunding investment is one of the best things that have happened to small business owners or entrepreneurs with very low budget. I will definitely invest in a movie that has a potential to produce a lifetime passive income. As you rightly said, I could be investing in another Titanic – who knows.

  2. Interesting, I hadn’t thought about the crowd funding industry branching out into these type of industries and the impact. I wouldn’t want to be the guinea pig but it does percent interesting possibilities for the future. Perhaps more niche things will be funded if those who are interest do the funding rather then the mass market and banks..

  3. I do like the idea of an indefinite passive income stream. I’m just not sure a movie is a right vehicle. You just never know what might be a big hit. I regularly keep an eye on box office, and there have been some big budget stinkers. I Christmas movie idea, if it’s a hit it will get watched year over year. Elf is one of our favorites and I’ve seen that movie probably 50 times.

    1. Brian, my favorite Christmas movie is It’s a Wonderful Life, and I’ve probably seen it more than 50 times. Unfortunately, the internet wasn’t around when the production team wanted to make that film. But today, there wouldn’t be that kind of problem. You can check out some of the portals if you think another industry is more to your liking.

  4. This looks like something for some fun money that you can afford to lose–one of those, if I make money great, if not, hopefully I’ll enjoy the movie kind of things. There are lots of ways to lose money with crowd funding, not the least of which is that the movie never gets made.

  5. Jax

    This is really interesting. I think that this would be something I treat like I treat going to the casino-I have a set amount of money I am willing to spend and if I turn it into more then great! And if I don’t, then at least I had a good time. Thanks for sharing!

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