WILLIS' 'STOCK' SOARS, AS GOODING'S DIVES

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Hollywood Stock Exchange, an Internet-based company providing a stock market simulation game, will provide Advertising Age with entertainment "stock market" data as a new monthly Culture Pop feature.

The site (www.hsx.com) gives $2 million in play money to users, who buy and sell movies and celebrities as if they were stocks and bonds. HSX has 240,000 registered users and handles about 40,000 "trades" daily, as players place values on movies and performers by buying and selling stocks based on real news developments.

Its Barometer index underscores trends and perceived values of celebrities and films in the marketplace, data useful to marketers as they cut tie-in deals.

In this initial survey, the Barometer tracked four anticipated theatrical releases for Labor Day and early fall: films headlined by Kevin Costner, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ashley Judd and Bruce Willis. Perhaps the weakest effort could be "The Chill Factor," starring Mr. Gooding. Stock buyers in the game seem to be wary because of his earlier disappointment in "Instinct." As a result, his StarBond value plummeted to a yearly low of H$781.

Ms. Judd's value has been flying high, reflective of her growing star power in such movies as "Kiss the Girls." Her StarBond value closed at H$1,557 July 2 on the strength of "Double Jeopardy," due out this fall.

It's back to the ball field for Mr. Costner in "For the Love of the Game," and he's hitting home runs already; his bond price is soaring to near his all-time high.

Mr. Willis continues as box office gold for traders. His upcoming "The Sixth Sense" has more than doubled its value since mid-May, to $43.21 at close on July

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