By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 05 Apr 2010
Its stock may be worth pennies, but Blockbuster’s access to new-release movie rentals from Warner Home Video could be priceless.
Dallas-based Blockbuster is running online banners and in-store signage underscoring availability of most recent Warner releases Sherlock Holmes and The Blind Side, both of which aren’t available at Netflix and Redbox until later this month.
The financially challenged DVD rental giant last month scored a coup of sorts from the largest home entertainment studio when it maintained access to new release movie rentals weeks ahead of its major rivals Netflix and Redbox.
“Rent It While It’s Still a New Release,” proclaims the online banner, highlighting Holmes availability (since March 30) at Blockbuster stores, by-mail and on demand.
Both titles also are available at Blockbuster Express kiosks, which is managed separately under a license deal between Blockbuster and NCR Corp. In other words, NCR acquires Warner titles via third-party retail channels (and not the studio), a strategy Redbox employed until striking a distribution deal with Warner earlier this year.
That deal, similar to the one ironed out between Netflix and the studio in January, affords the kiosk vendor superior access to Warner new releases and catalog — four weeks after street date. In the interim, Warner titles are available at retail, traditional video stores, iTunes, and cable and Web-based VOD.
Indeed, Blockbuster reported that The Blind Side was its No. 1 DVD rental for the week ended March 31.