Universal, Redbox Cut Deal To Maintain 28-Day Rental Delay

Universal will not follow the lead of Warner Bros. by restricting sales of DVDs to rental services for 56 days. Instead, the studio worked out an extension of its current deal with Redbox that will continue to keep Universal’s discs out of renters’ hands for 28 days.

Engadget reports the deal lasts through 2014, and that so far Warner Bros. is standing alone in its efforts to make renters wait eight weeks to taste their wares. Netflix accepted the Warner Bros. delay, while Redbox vowed to buy its own DVDs.

Expect more deals, ultimatums and saber-rattling between between rental services and studios as disc sales continue to dwindle.

Redbox deal with Universal keeps DVDs, Blu-rays on 28-day delay through 2014 [Endadget]


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  1. scoutermac says:

    Honestly even 28 days is too long.

    • c_c says:

      Doesn’t really impact me … I don’t see a lot of movies in theaters, so I’ve got a back-log of new-ish (ie came out in the last 2 years) movies to see anyway.

      • scoutermac says:

        The problem is when I go to a Redbox on any given day.. seems most of the movies are either movies I have no interest in or have already seen or even own.

  2. fatediesel says:

    It’s a smart deal for Universal. Redbox has shown that if a studio insists on a 56-day delay then Redbox will just buy the movies at retail and release them the day they come out, so it wasn’t advantageous to try and force them to go with a longer delay.

    • johnrhoward says:

      But it’s not a smart deal for Universal either. That’s why the whole thing is so frustrating. They seem to think that people who want to rent their DVDs for $1, when they aren’t available, are instead going to cough up around $20 to buy the movie. That’s just a ridiculous expectation. The people who buy DVDs are a different market, and they should stop trying to pretend that it’s not.

      • Hawkeye says:

        Exactly. If I can’t be bothered to pay 12 bucks see one of their movies in the theater, what makes them think I’ll want to pay 20 bucks to see it at home?

        • Jawaka says:

          I’d rather spend $20 to buy a DVD than go to the movies.

          First of all at the movies it’s about $10 per person and since I rarely go to the movies alone I’m either breaking even or saving money by buying the DVD instead. Plus at home I don’t have to deal with strangers talking during the movie or texting on their phones. The popcorn doesn’t cost $7 and the soda isn’t $6. Also I can pause the movie when I need to take a rest room break.

  3. Snoofin says:

    Sales of discs wouldnt continue to dwindle if so many people werent satisfied with mediocre video quality that they get from streaming Netflix. This angers me as I fear in the near future we wont have access to high quality 1080p video which as of now can only be received via Blue-Ray. You cant stream 1080p content as people dont have fast enough connections for it.

    I curse the day that streaming video from Netflix was invented. I wish they would go out of business. Watching anything less than 1080p should be illegal!

    • scoutermac says:

      If I buy a movie I buy it on bluray. Otherwise I typically rent from redbox which is about once a month.

    • frank64 says:

      i watch for the quality of the story, not to be wowed by fine detail. I am very happy with streaming quality, which to me is as good as standard DVD. The costs of Blur Ray is not worth the cost to me, especially if buying. I guess if I were a Netflix DVD customer I would not mind paying a few extra dollars for BR. But I really disagreed with those that wanted the BR premium without any additional charge.

      As for the 28 day delay. No biggie, I can wait. Not gonna make me buy though.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        It’s the same thing for me. I intentionally downgrade the stream quality to conserve bandwidth.

        • Snoofin says:

          I can understand doing that if you dont have an HDTV but if you do, how can you stand to watch a low bandwith pixelated image

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            I do have an HDTV, though it is only 1080i.

          • Invader Zim says:

            I have a hdtv and neflix and I watch movie from there all the time. If your getting pixelated then you have a crappy connection or a good connection with too many devices on it.

      • elangomatt says:

        I watch movies for the quality of the story as well, but I think the experience is enhanced further by having as sharp and detailed images as possible. I also like the better audio quality too that usually comes with watching a movie on blu-ray versus streaming it.

        • frank64 says:

          I see some value. The question is, is the benefit worth the added cost. There is no right or wrong answer. For me though the answer is no, and most people I know care even less than me.

          I used to stream most everything 1 or two shows a night. If I paid $2 extra for each show due to wanting the highest quality I would be paying at least $60 extra a month. I really think the enjoyment factor would be extremely small for the costs. Much better ways I could enjoy the money. The real costs for BR would be much higher than that.

        • SJActress says:

          I think this depends on the movie. I don’t know what it is about Blu-ray, but some movies look like Pan & Scan filmed by a British TV movie crew. It’s really distracting to me, as I’m staring at the weirdness instead of paying attention to the story.

          I think it’s movies that weren’t originally shot in HD, but I can’t say for sure.

    • deathbecomesme says:

      Why is Netflix to blame for your sh*tty internet access? Netflix requires atleast 5mb for HD content. If you live at a location where that is not possible then that was your choice.

      • Snoofin says:

        I dont have a shitty internet connection, but to stream full 1080p content you would need more like a 50MB connection. When youre streaming HD content from Netflix its still compressed video and only 720P in resolution, they dont offer 1080P content. You can ONLY get 1080P content via Blue-Ray

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Don’t yell at Netflix. It’s all the damn ISPs. I can’t get enough bandwidth to stream in HD without paying an arm and a leg. I don’t really care much, as long as I can see the picture and it’s reasonably good. My eyes suck, so everything looks like crap anyway.

  4. YouDidWhatNow? says:


  5. MichaelRyanSD says:

    Where my three tips on how to deal with this Phil?

  6. LanMan04 says:

    The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

    Guess what has a 0-day delay, and occasionally a negative-day delay? And costs $0? THE INTERNET

  7. Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

    And guess what’s going to be rampant during those 28 days.

    Hint: Yarrrrr.

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      “In 28 Days, if those zombies didn’t eat, they starve.”
      “You’re thinking of 28 Days Later. 28 Days is where Sandra Bullock goes to rehab and puts the audience into an undead state.”

  8. rockelscorcho says:

    “The only way to win the game is to not play at all”

    While Universal and Redbox play tug of war with a 28 day rental, everyone else will be torrenting. Then, Universal and Redbox will stop and look around…”Nobody wants to play with us?”
    “Nah, we got our own thing going on over here, you two keep playing tug of war.”

  9. finbar says:

    Warner, you should consider the followign scenario:

  10. aleck says:

    Sure, I’ll go right ahead and add it my “things to get this weekend” list:
    – Paper phone book
    – Music CDs
    – DVDs (new)

  11. Sajanas says:

    Honestly, after they started the 28 day waiting period, I thought I would get angered by it, but I haven’t been because now Netflix tends to have enough disks so that I get the new release pretty quickly after it comes out (where I remember it being months and months of Very Long Wait before), and the public library will get it pretty quickly and I can get it from there for free.

    I don’t think companies have caught on to the fact that piracy and cheap Netflix/Redbox rentals have really cut into what we think a DVD is worth.

  12. amuro98 says:

    When will the studios realize this isn’t going to result in additional DVD sales?

    I suspect that like me, many folks fall into the “Too much media…not enough time…” category. So, I can’t get Puss & Boots until next month? No problem. I can easily name 5 recent movies that are available, not to mention that my wife’s and mine combined queues are hovering somewhere north of 500 discs with about 30% of them available via streaming.

    We didn’t pay $25 to see the movie in theaters in 3D. We didn’t pay $7.99 or whatever to watch it on Pay-Per-View. We didn’t pay $24.99 to buy the disc in stores. So we can easily wait 28 days, or ever 56 days, to be able to watch the movie for a buck (ok, buck-thirty) from Redbox.

    Oh look, Redbox just sent me another text for a free rental.

    thnx rdbx lol.