Tag Archives: universal pictures

Redbox and Warner Bros. Deal Expires. Redbox To Acquire Titles Through “Alternate Means” (UPDATED)

It turns out that Redbox understands movie lovers: if we don’t catch a film in theaters, we want to watch it as soon as possible when it comes out on DVD Blu-ray. Unfortunately, studios have yet to realize the evolving consumer/market is not the same it was years ago.

Earlier this year, Warner Brothers proposed a deal with Redbox that would impose a 56 day delay between retailer release and rental availability. Rather than agreeing to these terms in an exchange for discounted discs, Redbox has decided to take its ball and go home. As a result, Redbox will have to purchase titles from retailers at a bulk price. The first Warner Brothers title Redbox plans to make available after finding a new source is “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas“, which comes out February 7, 2012.

Come April, eyes will be on Universal Pictures as their deal with Redbox expires. Currently, Universal’s release window is 28 days and there is no word yet if that length will be doubled.

A few questions remain:
Will these rentals be the retail versions with all bonus features?
Will this added cost be transferred to customers?
Will availability of these new Warner Brothers discs be more limited than others?

Rather than fighting with content distributors like Redbox and Netflix, studios might be better off dropping windows. It’s no secret that consumers are cutting back. We can no longer afford to buy a title that may only be watched once after purchase. Sometimes we pass on watching a movie in the theaters because the reviews don’t justify the cost of a ticket and that rationale certainly wouldn’t change when the Blu-ray release is even more than a ticket. How about we just accept purchases are for hardcore collectors and rentals are for casual watchers and just release them both into the wild at same time?

UPDATE (2/8/2012): It looks like Redbox has pushed back the release 1 week to 2/14/2012. Source: redbox