Blockbuster Video, Have They Gone Too Far?

With the rising popularity and use of such movie services as Netflix and Red Box, Blockbuster Video has seemingly had to leap through hoops to remain relevant in the home movie rental market. They initiated a no late fee program, which was then terminated. They initiated a one dollar-one night rental program, which has since been terminated as well. I even saw a Blockbuster-Box outside of a 7-Eleven the other day. Additionally, they have initiated a Netflix-esque type of online program that mails movies to the home, same as Netflix, with the added ability to take the  movies into the user’s neighborhood Blockbuster and trade for other titles. This program is still in effect, but with recent revelations which are to be discussed later in this entry, it seems that Blockbuster Video is trying yet another ploy to reassert their dominance over the home movie rental market.

Recently, Blockbuster has negotiated an exclusive early release of the film “The Blind Side” with Sandra Bullock’s Academy Award-Winning Best Actress performance. Until April 20th, the film will ONLY be available for rent at Blockbuster Video, after this date, both Netflix and Red Box will offer the title.

Is this what home movie rental is coming to, exclusive release contracts? Will home movie renters be funneled like cattle towards one outlet for a film?

There is something about this that rubs me the wrong way. As an avid movie lover and die hard Netflix user, I am perturbed that the movie studios and Blockbuster have seen this as an acceptable route to take in regard to the future of home movie rental. However, at the same time, I completely understand the business behind it and as a business decision, it is fabulous. Please, do not misunderstand me, I know I only have to wait about four weeks until I can get the title on my Netflix account, but I write this piece to tackle the overall situation at hand, that being the control of distribution from one source. In the bigger picture of things, I acknowledge that this is not a big deal, it bears no weight on arguably anything in my life that truly matters, other than the fact that, as a movie lover, I am being pigeon holed into consuming and spending my money in one location. There is just something about this that seems to evoke a negative response in me, a response that brings about a weary outlook on the future of home movie rental.

What are you thoughts? I am interested to hear what others think.

4 Responses to “Blockbuster Video, Have They Gone Too Far?”
  1. dianaheyer says:

    Ok, i see what you’re saying but dont look at it as “I am being forced to only rent through Blockbuster” but rather “If I want to see it early, then I guess I have to go to Blockbuster. No one is forcing you to rent from Blockbuster, but if you want the priveledge to watch it early, then Blockbuster is where you will have to go. Its not like Blockbuster told the other movie rentals not to carry the movie until 4 weeks after, they simply have it now and if you want it, then go to Blockbuster. This is no different than having exclusive offers for certain products at certain stores. Like when New Moon came out, if I wanted the tin box case, then I had to go to Best Buy. If I want to enter a chance to win tickets to concert, then I have to listen to a certain radio station and be caller #9. I think that what Blockbuster is doing with exclusive release dates is amazing and isn’t wrong in any way. If you want to watch The Blind Side through Netflix, then just wait until the “real” release date and dont take advantage of the exclusive release that Blockbuster is offering.

  2. TRQ2 says:

    First-run movies are released only to specific movie theaters and shown on a predetermined number of screens inside of them. It’s all negotiated by distributors per film. So actually, you are already being given a limited number of options for going out to see a movie. The sheer number of theaters that typically carry new releases disguise the exclusivity.
    All that said, Blockbuster,Netflix et al, are in survival mode – no mistaking that. I understand your frustration, but I think it’s a pretty clever marketing ploy to stave off their demise for another day.

  3. Kind of lame of Blockbuster to do that. In the end, that business is going down the toilet. They may as well accept that rather than inconvenience everyone else for a short period of time.

  4. I understand all your points. But, I still feel perturbed about the whole thing. Maybe I am just crazy? Lol.

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