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Analyst: Redbox Ignoring Low Box Office New Releases

19 Jan, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Forget trying to rent new releases with low box office tallies at a Redbox kiosk, especially if they from Warner Home Video, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

A check of 100 Redbox kiosks in 30 markets found no discs offered of Fox's Post Grad, which was released Jan. 12 and generated $6.3 million at the box office, according to a weekly report by Eric Wold, analyst with Merriman Curhan Ford in New York. There were no wide-release DVDs from either Universal or Warner that week.

The $1 DVD rental kiosk operator, which sued Warner, Fox and Universal after they imposed nearly month-long embargoes on new releases to kiosks, had vowed to stock the studios' titles by acquiring them via third-party retailers such as Wal-Mart.

The extra legwork and cost involved in getting movies from studios with which Redbox does not have distribution agreements has apparently become a prohibitive strategy, according to Wold.

The lone exception: The Final Destination, which was released Jan. 5 following a box office haul of $67.5 million. The Warner/New Line title was found in 85% of kiosks monitored, up from 74% availability the previous week.

Thus, don't expect to see Warner's Jan. 19 releases, The Invention of Lying ($18 million box office) and Whiteout ($10 million box office), at a Redbox anytime soon.

"Given those movies’ relatively low box office, we do not expect to see too many copies of those movies stocked in the Redbox kiosks, if any at all," Wold wrote in a note.

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