Coming soon: a new film fund with a budget of about US$100 million (Dh367.3m) for wealthy investors willing to take a risk on which movies pack blockbuster potential.
Box office success, though, is not guaranteed.
This kind of high-stakes investing game has long been popular among affluent Americans set on mingling within elite Hollywood circles. But as far as those behind the Mena CineFinance fund are aware, there has never before been a professionally managed investment vehicle of this size geared at film investors from the UAE, other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
"We're raising investments from the region," said Michelle Nickelson, the managing director of Mena CineFinance.
"Not necessarily will all the films be from the region, but there is an opportunity to pitch things [locally that] can be developed into an international project."
The fund is set to launch within the next month and will be managed by United Investment Bank (UIB) in the Dubai International Financial Centre.
Like the growing interest in Hollywood films from audiences who live abroad, more investors from outside of the US have also been eyeing financing opportunities in the movie-making industry, experts say.
Last year, ticket sales from cinemas in the US and Canada remained flat, at $10.6 billion, while global box office receipts reached a record high of $31.8bn, according to data released this year by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Revenue from overseas markets jumped 13 per cent compared with 2009, amid especially strong sales from box offices located in the Asia Pacific region and, in particular, China.
A concern from China and the Middle East are the first investors in the Mena CineFinance fund. But there may be a second or even third round of fund-raising, said Craig Roberts, an investment manager at UIB who will help manage the film fund.
Mr Roberts said he planned to approach investors who met an as of yet-to-be determined minimum asset level with different projects that would feature various risk-and-return profiles. Investors can then select one, or multiple, films to back.
Some projects might require longer-term investments, such as movies that seem to have the potential for sequels, merchandise and maybe even a theme park.
In short, the next Harry Potter or X-Men franchise.
Yet there are plenty of risks at stake for investors because not all movie genres have proven to be consistently profitable.
While certain documentaries in recent years have received widespread interest and Academy Awards, including Inside Job and An Inconvenient Truth, they tend to be riskier projects to invest in from the start, experts warn.
Many short films have also received critical acclaim but tend to fall short when it comes to box-office receipts, which is often due to limited distribution in cinemas. "I like short films, personally, but it is not something you can sell to investors," said Ms Nickelson, who noted that the fund would not be actively looking to invest in shorts and would be selective about documentaries.
Local films developed in the Emirates or Mena region may also be considered for the fund, although its focus will be on established movie markets. "I'm sure that we'll look to any project that is achievable and profitable elsewhere [besides Hollywood]," said Mr Roberts.