So those petitions we signed for Blockbuster to stock Widescreen were for nothing?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lanny_B, Jan 26, 2003.

  1. Lanny_B

    Lanny_B Second Unit

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    I rent 100's of movies because I can't buy 100's of movies, nor do I want to find place in my house to stock a bunch of movies I only want to watch once.

    I signed a petition a while ago with thousands of others for Blockbuster to carry widescreen. Well, they look like they've all but given up on that since almost all of the new releases recently (Austin Powers, Bourne Identity, Undercover Brother, Spirit, About A Boy, etc.) are in "Full Screen". Hollywood, luckily, has decided to stick with WS right now for the most part, which I hope continues. But Blockbuster is the better deal for me, and I had hoped they had listened to us enough to carry at least a few copies of WS if so many people are demanding full screen. NetFlix seems almost okay, but, of course it's not immediate, and I notice they count the 2nd special features of most movies as a second rental, which just doesn't seem like it would work.

    So, is there anything that can be done about this? Or did we just lose the battle?
     
  2. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    I've noticed the same thing. Unfortunately most folks don't live in a place where there's convenient access to better rental (grocery stores and other video rental places are even more likely to stock fullscreen, not to mention edited versions of anything geared to adults.)

    There exist better rental places in my town, but they're a pain to drive to, and although they stock the correct versions of newer releases they're usually out of them when I go. So I guess Netflix is the best remaining option.
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Online petitions are useless, companies consider them too easy to sign.

    A snail mail letter to the company is easily worth 100+ online signatures
     
  4. Drew Mertz

    Drew Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    Was there actually a battle? a petition is not going to do anything but take up space. I just can`t believe with all the bitching people do here about blockbuster, they still give them there bussiness? I just don`t get it? I don`t rent, haven`t for years. Even if I did blockbuster would be the last place I would go to. Since they arrived on the scene how many GOOD stories have you heard about them? In my area theres rental stores everywhere, maybe thats just here. It just seems like the people here on the forum have tons of options they just choose to ignore them, just have something to bitch about.
     
  5. RaulR

    RaulR Stunt Coordinator

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  6. JarrodK

    JarrodK Extra

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    Protest with your wallet. If you don't like how Blockbuster does business, don't spend money there. The only way to affect change is to cut their revenue over it.
     
  7. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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  8. ScottAndrew

    ScottAndrew Stunt Coordinator

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    I had the same experience today; I went to rent the Bourne Identity and left empty-handed. I sent them an e-mail through their web site letting them know I would rent it elsewhere. I like to have the optimistic viewpoint that companies really do value feedback. That's how they know that their policies are costing them business. Will it matter? I don't know. But at least when they make their decision they can take into account the business they will lose.
     
  9. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    So far, I can still count my blessings. My local Blockbuster is a franchise store, rather than a company-owned store. And the owner of it has ALWAYS stocked widescreen DVDs exclusively (except of course for the titles issued fullframe only). I make it a point to express my gratitude every chance I get. Of course, I haven't spoken to the owner, but hopefully the message gets relayed from the employees to the manager to the owner.

    Surprisingly, even the local Movie Gallery has lately switched from carrying fullscreen to carrying widescreen, on most titles. However, they do seem to carry fullscreen only on "family titles"....guess kids can't stand the black bars! But it's better than it used to be, and I feel I may have had at least a small role in that switch, as I complained to the store manager several times about the lack of widescreen.

    So the Movie Gallery is improving (but inconsistent) and the Blockbuster only carries widescreen when given a choice. Count my blessings indeed!

    Steve K.
     
  10. Clint B

    Clint B Second Unit

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  11. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    I think that, by the time widescreen TVs become the norm in the U.S., the conversation will go more like this:

    Me: "Do you want to get something to eat? I can probably spend about $20 or so."

    P&S advocate: "I guess that limits us to the Soylent Green value meal. Oh, did I mention, I had Scotty beam me the widescreen version of Star Wars Episode I. It's on HD-DIVX, so it's free but every time you watch it George Lucas's heirs get a percentage of your soul."

    Me: "That's OK, I need to stay here in case one of my great-grandchildren calls."

    It's unfortunate that Blockbuster has decided not to bother accomodating the film buff market for mass-market new releases. It's also unfortunate that the studios still feel the need to come out with different versions of the movie for different framings. It's unfortunate that, despite the limitations of Blockbuster, some people's local situation doesn't offer alternatives that they find preferable.
     
  12. Lanny_B

    Lanny_B Second Unit

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  13. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Second Unit

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  14. Jerry Dreiss

    Jerry Dreiss Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I no longer rent from or visit Blockbuster retailers.
     
  16. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    I should have clarified her conduct in my previous post.
    As an adult of 40 years I was taught to address others, especially those senior to my age in a respectfull manner. As a customer I was appalled at her disrespectful attitude. If she acted in the same manner when the store manager was around, I'm sure she would be searching for another job. She was treated in a civil manner, and in return I got a pissy attitude. I don't treat my customers that way, and I will not tolerate being treated in that manner when I'm the customer. I can assure you that her response was far more sarcastic than it was innocent. I forsee a long career in the fast food industry for this young "Lady."
     
  17. David James

    David James Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had many wonderful experiences at Blockbuster, from the 2 for 1 coupons, through the 10 rentals for $20, plus a free movie. Each rental and free movie was OAR.

    Why on earth would I not want to give them my business? Well, when they do not stock the OAR version, I tell them I will rent that title from their competition. The message is clear, provide what this customer wants and they get my business. I then send a note to Blockbuster corporate. Simply not showing up sends no message at all, I could have moved or died for all they know.

    By the way, I'm one of those "aging baby boomers".
     
  18. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Stopped renting at Blockbuster before I even got DVD 2.5 years ago. Prices just kept getting more and more ridiculous, and the P&S is just the icing on the cake. Hollywood gets all my rental business, and they're even nice enough to *very frequently* send 99 cent rental coupons right to my mail box. And EVERY title that has a dual release is stocked in WIDESCREEN only. Take notice, Blockbuster.
     
  19. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I haven't walked into a blockbuster to rent something in almost 5 years.
     
  20. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    I agree with everyone above who stated: "Vote with your wallets". Every dollar NOT paid to Blockbuster counts as a vote, and every dollar spent elsewhere, weather online or storefront, is a bonus for those who care enough to stock widescreen. Blockbuster is the McDonald's and the Walmart of the video rental industry. They, along with a growing number of "institutions", are a blight on the American landscape. In sufficient numbers, WE can bring them down, or, more benevolently, cause them to listen. Conscience followed by action is the key. If no decisive action is taken, someday we'll all become serfs without choice, kissing the filthy feet of the mighty lords of retail.
     

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