A bit shocking to hear in the wake of the recent news of Blockbuster thinking about claiming bankruptcy and closing stores nationwide, it is being reported that Warner Bros. and the rental chain have struck a deal to allow Blockbuster to rent Warner Bros. DVDs on the same day that they go on sale in stores.
In comparison, competing rental services Netflix Inc. and Coinstar Inc’s Redbox get to rent Warner Bros. New releases 28 days from the new release date that they come out.
The financial details of Warner’s deal with Blockbuster haven’t been disclosed yet, but since the news hit, Blockbuster’s stock rose over 7 percent to 34.45 cents.
Once considered the end all of rental services, Blockbuster has been struggling recently for a foothold in the ever changing market, especially when it comes to rental services by mail and streaming from sites such as their main rival Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, to name a few.
This is a minor step for Blockbuster to gain a foothold in the market again, but it might be too little, too late. Considering Blockbuster has never been one to be known for their Criterion Collection choices in their stores and not renting NC-17 movies due to content, it seems to be a broken system in place already and this might just be a last gasp of breath for the once mighty chain.
Considering I’ve taken full advantage of various Blockbuster locations going out of business and selling through their stock, I’m not sure how long this will keep the Titanic of rental chains afloat. Picking up some choice releases from their stores, such as Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom, Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy and Criterion’s own release of John Woo’s The Killer for the low price of $1, I know my collection grows in merriment when another Blockbuster falls in the forest.
Photo courtesy of Chris Devers.