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Embargoes Drive Divergent Top Kiosk Rentals in 2011

30 Dec, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Redbox and Blockbuster Express together operate about 50,000 kiosks nationwide, yet their respective customers favored completely different movies in 2011 — underscoring the impact of street-date availability of new releases.

Market leader Redbox, which operates about 40,000 kiosks in more than 27,000 locations, Dec. 29 said the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comedy Just Go With It, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, was the most popular title in 2011, according to a survey. It was also Redbox’s top rented comedy — a reality driven in part by the fact Sony has an exclusive street-date agreement with the kiosk vendor.

Indeed, Redbox’s top drama (The Tourist), top horror (Insidious), and top action (The Green Hornet) — all came from Sony. The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, was released theatrically last December. Redbox also has distribution deals with Paramount Home Entertainment, Lionsgate and Summit Home Entertainment.

None of the aforementioned titles ranked in the top 10 for Blockbuster Express, which operates 10,000 kiosks. Top Express rentals included Bridesmaids from Universal Studios Home Entertainment; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 and Inception — both from Warner Home Video; and Rise of the Planet of the Apes from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

All three studios have 28-day embargoes with Redbox, but operate separate agreements with Express, which include higher street-date pricing and sellthrough components. Express kiosks are owned and operated by NCR Corp. under a license agreement with Blockbuster LLC.

Noteworthy, four Paramount titles ranked among the top Express rentals in 2011 — but failed to rate highly among Redbox customers. Indeed, Inception was the only title to figure among both Redbox and Express customers.

Finally, actor Kevin James was honored with the inaugural Redbox Lifetime Achievement Award for top rental titles such as Grown Ups, Zookeeper, The Dilemma and Paul Blart: Mall Cop — the latter the fastest Redbox title to reach 1 million rentals. Natalie Portman was singled out as the “Most-Rented Actress at Redbox in 2011” for titles Black Swan, No Strings Attached and Thor. Owen Wilson was dubbed “Most-Rented Actor at Redbox” for Little Fockers, How Do You Know and Cars 2.

Blockbuster Express Top 10 Rentals in 2011

1. Bridesmaids
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1
3. The Help (Disney)
4. Inception
5. The King’s Speech (Anchor Bay)
6. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Paramount)
8. Thor (Paramount)
9. Super 8 (Paramount)
10.  Captain America: The First Avenger (Paramount)

Redbox Top Rentals

Overall: Just Go With It

1. The Green Hornet
2. I Am Number Four (Disney)
3. Battle: Los Angeles (Sony Pictures)
4. Red (Summit)
5. True Grit (Paramount)

1. Just Go With It
2. No Strings Attached (Paramount)
3. The Dilemma (Universal)
4. Due Date (Warner)
5. Dinner for Schmucks (Paramount)

1. The Tourist
2. The Lincoln Lawyer (Lionsgate)
3. The Fighter (Paramount)
4. Inception
5. The Social Network (Sony)

1. Insidious
2. Case 39 (Paramount)
3. Paranormal Activity 2 (Paramount)
4. The Rite (Warner)
5. Devil (Universal)

1. Rango (Paramount)
2. Despicable Me (Universal)
3. Zookeeper (Sony Pictures)
4. Megamind (Paramount/DreamWorks)
5. Rio (20th Century Fox)


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