Blockbuster Gets Warner Bros. Movies 28 Days Before Netflix

A week after Blockbuster announced it could be heading down the road to bankruptcy, there’s some good news for the once-mammoth video vendor. They announced yesterday that they’ve reached an agreement with Time Warner that would allow them to rent Warner Bros. DVDs in their stores and by mail a full four weeks before Netflix.

As you probably recall, the deal worked out earlier this year between Warner and Netflix forbade the video-by-mail company of offering new Warner titles for the first 28 days of release. Not surprisingly, this has irked Netflix subscribers, one of whom has filed a lawsuit over the matter.

The Blockbuster deal allows them to rent Warner Bros. movies to customers with no delays. This includes those who use the company’s movies-by-mail system, giving them a direct competitive edge over Netflix in this regard.

The Blockbuster-branded kiosks owned by NCR are not part of the deal and will not have Warner movies for the first four weeks of release.

The timing is pretty good for Blockbuster, as Warner releases their box-office smash The Blind Side today. On the Blockbuster site, the main graphic brags that they offer the Oscar-nominated flick in stores, by mail and on-demand. It also points out quite clearly that Netflix and Redbox users will not be able to get the film through any of those methods.

Blockbuster to Offer Warner Bros. Movie Rentals Before Netflix [BusinessWeek]