Blockbuster Express Agrees To 28-Day Delay On New Warner Bros. Releases

While bankrupt video chain Blockbuster Video is spending millions on TV ads to trumpet its immediate access to new releases, the folks behind the Blockbuster Express rental kiosks have made a deal with Warner Bros. and other studios to delay renting new titles by 28 days.

Even though Blockbuster Express, which is actually owned and operated by NCR Corp, has the right to go out and buy newly released DVDs and rent them out, that’s a pricey proposition. So this deal would allow the company to deal directly with the studios and get the discs at a lower cost.

In addition to Warner Bros., NCR has made similar arrangements with Fox and Universal.

Both Redbox and Netflix have made these kinds of deals with studios in the last year. The latter company has used these agreements to not only get cheaper discs but to gain access to various studios’ libraries for its rapidly growing streaming service.

For the studios, these delays give them a few extra weeks of lucrative retail sales before the titles become available for rent.

For Blockbuster Express, this is just the latest move that separates the kiosk business from its bricks and mortar namesake. When Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September, NCR sent out a mass e-mail to Blockbuster Express customers reminding them that the kiosks were related to the video store in name only.

Blockbuster Express Kiosks To Get Warner Bros Titles After 28 Days [Fox Business]

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  1. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    BlockBastard bugged out of my town years ago, and I despise their online “service”. Netflix and Redbox are my remaining options. If I can’t wait a month for a freakin’ movie, I really need to learn some self control.

    • farker says:

      Especially since movies seem to come out on DVD 3 months after they were in theaters, it’s not a big deal to wait an extra month to pay $1 to watch it.

  2. sir_eccles says:

    “…has the right to go out and buy newly released DVDs and rent them out”

    Are you sure about that? I don’t think it’s so straightforward.

    • GTI2.0 says:

      Yes, that’s correct. Look up the “First-sale Doctrine”, which was written back in the time of player pianos. If you own it you’re free to rent it out, cut it into tiny pieces, throw it away, etc. so long as you only do it with that one copy. It applies to DVDs (and books and CDs, etc.), however it does not apply to streaming.

      It’s how used book & music stores have lived for years – if the book publishers and studios wanted to make more money, they’d shut them down if they could.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        “First-sale Doctrine”, a concept increasingly under attack these days. Try doing it with some software. “We don’t Sell it to you we LICENSE IT to you.” What a bunch of crap.

        • anduin says:

          This is why I don’t buy antivirus or anything that only has a 6 month to 1 year policy on it. You can always find alternatives on the web that are free and usually as good if not better than said software. When it comes to games….well I just avoid those games in general but then you tend to see piracy numbers blow up.

        • sonneillon says:

          But when you buy retail you don’t sign a licensing agreement so if Blockbuster went to Walmart and bought the movies they own it. Sometimes they can try a contract of adhesion but this wouldn’t pass the smell test, but the reason why Netflix et al do it like that is that instead of paying 18-20 dollars to buy a movie they spend 2-3. The studios cut sweetheart deals so that the rental companies go along with it.

      • fatediesel says:

        Correct, any service, be it Blockbuster, Netflix, or Redbox, has the right to rent movies right away. The reason they don’t is because the studios have the right to forbid their wholesalers from selling to the services, so the services would have to pay retail for the movies, which isn’t economically feasible. It makes more sense for the rental services to wait 28 days but pay 50% for the movies from a wholesaler.

  3. Daverson says:

    I wonder why NCR doesn’t ditch the Blockbuster name? Does Blockbuster really enjoy that much goodwill among movie fans?

    • jason in boston says:

      Blockbuster is still a really powerful name. To people of the internet, blockbuster is a joke, but for people that don’t stream Blockbuster is the only game in town.

  4. Tiandli says:

    If I wanted to see the movie sooner, I would have seen it at the theater. Another month won’t matter. Studios should remember that the longer they hold out on movies, the more out of mind a movie will become.

    “Tron Legacy is finally out? That was in theaters a few years ago. I didn’t realize it was finally available for rental.” *Adds to bottom of queue.*

  5. skakh says:

    Try Vudu with an internet connectable Bluray. Works well for me. Rented Inception on Friday, free with the free one disk trial.

    Sadly RedBox seems quite lame lately, perhaps because it has no new releases.

  6. dopplerd says:

    Rather funny how NCR is having to run away from a name they paid money to have the rights to. And presumably to leverage that brand’s standing in the video rental market.

  7. ShinGetterPoPo says:

    Are there any rental venues left that don’t require a 28 day wait for movies?

    • c!tizen says:

      I don’t think so, but I have feeling it’ll be back to normal once the studios realize that they’re not making much more in the first 28 days of release, and their income from rentals drops to zero until day 29.

      These people are stupid, seriously. If I waited the entire time that it was in theaters to see it, I’ll go ahead and keep my self control in tact for another 28 days.

    • Droford says:

      Blockbuster Online with free instore exchanges

      If theres a new movie you want, just go to the store and exchange for it.

      One of the few advantages they have over netflix/redbox.

  8. vastrightwing says:

    This is the thing with a “brand”. It is a promise of sorts: people associate a brand with a level of service or quality, otherwise, why brand yourself? Perhaps NCR should simply rebrand itself, save the license fee they paid to Blockbuster to use their brand. This is the risk. NCR assumed Blockbuster was a positive brand, now, not so much.

  9. Supes says:

    Funny. I had no idea they were so unrelated.

    I haven’t entered a Blockbuster store in years, but I’ve actually used a kiosk within the past month. Much closer to me than any RedBox.

  10. MacUser1986 says:

    I believe this, I had the same thing happen to me last month.

  11. eribre says:

    Smart decision…especially considering they just launched that huge “Why wait?” ad campaign promoting that you can have new releases right away with them.

  12. Erik_says_this says:

    I don’t understand this trend. If I’m going to buy a movie, I know I will after I leave the theater. If I don’t see a movie in the theater, I’m going to rent it, and if I seriously like it that much, THEN I’ll buy it. Why do they think delaying rentals is going to increase sales? Do people make it a habit of buying movies they’ve never seen?

  13. mbz32190 says:

    NCR should have stuck with their old, “DVDPlay” name instead. Although the only place I see these kiosks is Genuardi’s (an overpriced supermarket chain in PA owned by Safeway. It seems other Safeway stores also have them). So they ain’t getting of my business. For the longest time, their Kiosks wanted $1.50 for a rental!

  14. anduin says:

    I don’t get people who feel the need to rush out to see the latest movie, I mean if you’re REALLY into the theater experience then I can get behind that notion but for the rest of us who watch movies casually, what’s the problem waiting 1 month? Go 1 month without getting a movie and your backlog will already start and by the time all the newer stuff starts coming out, you’ll be watching the month old movies. I do the same thing with TV shows, often I’ll watch the first episode then not watch it for a few weeks so I can watch more of them at once if the mood strikes me.