Blockbuster Express Tests Premium-Priced New Releases7 Dec, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel
NCR Corp. Dec. 7 began offering select embargoed new release movies on street date as part of trial run at 900 Blockbuster Express kiosks in the San Francisco, Phoenix, Miami and Atlanta metropolitan areas.
Duluth, Ga.-based NCR owns and operates about 8,000 Blockbuster Express kiosks nationwide through a license agreement with Dallas-based Blockbuster.
As part of the test, Blockbuster Express is offering Christopher Nolan’s mind-altering thriller Inception and the Tom Cruise actioner Knight and Day for $2.99 on DVD for the first day and $1 per day thereafter.
A separate test for Blu-ray Disc releases priced at $3.99 for the first day ($1 per day thereafter) is slated to begin in the near future, according to NCR spokesperson Jeff Dudash.
NCR is subject to 28-day delays for new release titles from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment in exchange for better financial terms and superior copy depth, among other considerations.
Unlike Redbox, NCR has provisions in its studio deals that allow for the release of select rentals at premium prices. NCR has no distribution agreement with Warner Home Video, which necessitated acquiring copies of Inception from third-party sources.
Dudash said consumers prefer renting major new release movies as soon as they are available, and with the premium pricing they have the ability to do that.
Future titles available on street date include The A-Team on Dec. 14 and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (both Fox) on Dec. 21.