Looking good, Billy Ray! Rights to ‘Trading Places’ go up for sale

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It won’t be as lucrative as bankrupting the Duke brothers in the frozen concentrated orange juice market.

And it won’t make you rich enough to end up on a tropical island with Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis and the late Denholm Elliott.

But if you’ve ever wanted to own a piece of “Trading Places,” the iconic 1980s comedy, now’s your chance.

A tiny slice of the movie’s royalties has been put up for auction, and is currently being sold at Royalty Exchange, a site where you can buy music and other entertainment rights.

For $67,500 and up, you can bid for the right to get a chunk of change every time the movie is broadcast, streamed, downloaded or bought. Royalty Exchange has sold over $50 million worth of royalties in the past three years

“The winner of the auction will literally own a piece of the BAFTA award-winning movie,” said Royalty Exchange spokeswoman Hannah Schwartz. The movie is “currently playing on IFC and is on (Amazon) Prime, and gets an extra yearly boost from being a perennially popular Christmas movie.”

Royalties generated by these rights generated about $8,000 over the past 12 months, according to Royalty Exchange. During the past 10 years they’ve varied from $6,450 during the financial crisis to a peak of $14,626 in 2015. The average has been $10,500 a year.

It’s not clear who is selling the rights or what percentage of the total is up for sale, though given the popularity of the movie, the numbers suggest it’s pretty small. Royalty Exchange is privately owned and was launched in 2011. The auction ends on Feb. 13.

“Trading Places” was one of the top-grossing films of 1983 but has since gone on to have a cultural significance far beyond its initial impact. The movie, inspired by the Mark Twain novel “The Prince and the Pauper,” is a social satire, a Wall Street satire and a comedy caper wrapped into one. It involves a young blue-blood, a homeless man, a prostitute, a butler, a sinister fixer, a gorilla costume, and the rich, evil brothers Randolph and Mortimer Duke. Oh yes, and a plot to corner the market in frozen concentrated orange juice futures.

The movie helped catapult the young Eddie Murphy to global stardom. It also features a cameo by future senator Al Franken.

The Dukes (typical exchange: “Mother always said you were greedy!” “She meant it as a compliment!”) were partially inspired by the downfall of the Texas tycoons Nelson, William and Lamar Hunt a few years earlier. They had tried to corner the silver market but ended up going bankrupt when their attempt failed.

The biggest risk to this investment may be that the movie could fall out of favor for offending modern sensibilities: At one point, Aykroyd dons blackface in a scene with Murphy. The irony is that the central messages of the film are inherently progressive and egalitarian.

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