What happened

Shares of Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) climbed as much as 15.7% early Tuesday, then settled to trade up around 7% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT after the company announced its blockchain-centric tZERO subsidiary has partnered with the producers of the upcoming movie Atari: Fistful of Quarters in an effort to "tokenize" a major motion picture for the first time.

More specifically, tZERO will develop the new Bushnell cryptocurrency token, as much as $40 million of which will be sold by film production and financing company Vision Tree. In exchange, token owners will receive shares of the Atari movie's earnings as well as an interactive role in the film's development.

Front row of a movie audience smiling while enjoying snacks and drinks.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Make no mistake, Overstock and tZERO have ambitions that extend far beyond using cryptocurrencies to fund this single film.

"We have been looking for the team to crack the code for Hollywood and bring much-needed transparency and accountability to an industry that has been historically resistant to change," Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said. "This is an extremely impressive team, and we are thrilled to bring the tZERO tech stack to the movie industry."

Keeping in mind Vision Tree first announced plans for the Bushnell token in early 2018, its co-founder Benjamin Gerry noted it has been a "long process to find the right partner" for this project, adding that it could "blaze a new trail for other media projects to follow."

Now what

Given the positively disruptive nature of this partnership, it's fitting that Atari: Fistful of Quarters follows the career of Nolan Bushnell, the video game industry pioneer and Atari founder. If it succeeds and indeed paves the way for more crypto-funded films, Overstock and tZERO may have just created an enviable runway for future growth.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.