The end of an era -- Blockbuster is really closed

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dennis Nicholls, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I haven't been into a video rental store in years. The last time I went was when Hollywood Video closed - I picked up some Criterion OOP discs for $2 each.

    But now it's Blockbuster stores and their media rental arm too.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-06/blockbuster-video-rental-chain-will-shut-remaining-u-s-stores.html
     
  2. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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  3. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    According to that MSN story, it's only 50 franchise stores that will remain open. Basically a mom-and-pop store with a Blockbuster sign out front.
     
  4. Kevin Collins

    Kevin Collins Owner, from The Other Washington
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    Blockbuster had a storied history with first store opening in 1985 in Dallas, TX. Blockbuster then grew rapidly by acquisition, starting with 250 stores from Erol's. Soon Blockbuster was opening a store every 24 hours! The acquisition spree continued by acquiring key rivals -- most notable being Major Video.

    In 1994 Viacom purchase Blockbuster for $8.4B and continued growth internationally. In 2004 Blockbuster separated from Viacom and started their online DVD subscription service and in 2008 was considering acquiring the struggling Circuit City.

    Then the market started to change and Blockbuster started closing their stores starting in Portugal 2010. Later that year Movie Gallery (i.e. Hollywood Video) liquidated leaving Blockbuster the sole remaining national video rental chain. However, this didn't help Blockbuster and on July 1, 2010, NYSE delisted Blockbuster. Blockbuster was also unable to make a $42.4M interest payment to bondholders and the unraveling started happening at a faster pace. On Sept. 23, 2010 Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy, but said it would keep it's 3300 stores open.

    On March 28, 2011 DISH and a Korean company called SK Telecom started a bidding war for the bankrupt Blockbuster. DISH eventually prevailed with a purchase price of $320M (remember that Viacom bought Blockbuster for $8.4B!!). DISH continued to close stores.

    Today DISH announced that they are shuttering all operation for Blockbuster retail and DVD mail service. The remaining 300 stores will be closed along with distribution centers.

    The reason was primarily due to the fact that digital distribution is where the growth is and optical disc rental is fading.

    DISH will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand, and key assets, including the company's significant video library. DISH will focus on delivering the Blockbuster @Home service to DISH customers, and on its transactional streaming service for the general market, Blockbuster On Demand.

    The Blockbuster @Home service offers over 15 movie channels including STARZ(R) Cinema, EPIX(R), Sony Movie Channel, and Hallmark Movie Channel, plus over 20,000 movies and TV shows streamed to TVs, computers or iPads(R). The service includes access to the Blockbuster @Home 'app' currently available to the millions of TVs served by DISH's Hopper(R) Whole-Home HD DVR set-top box.

    And another era ends...

    How many people still rental optical disc? I do via RedBox.
     
  5. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I don't remember ever renting a blu-ray in a B&M. Last time I rented was Netflix, which I canceled when they had their pricing/cut-the-baby-in-half fiasco.
     
  6. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I rent Redbox occasionally (that is the only type of movie rental I do, by the way. I don't do streaming). Redbox, with their low price and return-to-any-kiosk model did quite a bit toward driving a few more nails in Blockbuster's coffin. It wasn't just the rise of digital distribution that killed Blockbuster.
     
  7. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    Good riddance to the behemoth that forced all my favorite mom-and-pop video stores out of business.
     
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  8. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Love or loathe them, it's too bad thousands of people are losing their jobs right before the holidays. No winners here.

    The mom and pops that still survive in my area specialized in stocking the stuff Blockbuster didn't.

    I actually rented Laserdiscs from them a few times in the 90's. They slapped a "please rewind" label on the jackets. :huh:
     
  9. ShellOilJunior

    ShellOilJunior Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll either buy or borrow the blu from the library.
     
  10. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I stopped caring about Blockbuster and their insane late fees and corporate policies a long time ago and honestly didn't realize they still had stores anywhere. My broadband isn't fast enough for streaming and I don't have much time to watch movies anymore, but I occasionally still rent DVDs or BDs, maybe one disc every three months. I'm lucky enough to pass by Hastings every day on my way home from work so I've never used Red Box.
     
  11. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    Blockbuster stores in my neck of the woods have been shut for many years now - I'm talking about a major city, where they were mostly concentrated. I had no idea they were still actually in business. Never did like them, anyway. Their rentals were typically upwards of $3 for one or two nights, whereas my local video shop charged $1 a movie with a free rental after the 3rd or 4th tape. It was a typical little guy-vs.-big corporation thing and the little guy always won with me.
     
  12. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Maybe mom 'n pop will rise again.I could darn near start a rental place with my collection. Of course paying start-up fees for rights would quash that...
     
  13. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    There are no rights to pay for rentals.
     
  14. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    "RIP: Blockbuster. In lieu of flowers please watch a movie tonight with family that is your third or fourth choice" - Gerry Duggan
     
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  15. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Just as an example of Redbox's viability as a business model, when the VHQ near my work closed, it was replaced by another chain called Movie Experts. About 9 months ago, the Walmart about 2 blocks away acquired a Redbox kiosk. The Movie Experts store closed about a month ago. Streaming is all well and good, but in an era of bandwidth throttling, don't count rental of physical media out, especially when Redbox, with its low overhead and ease of access, can get you titles on BD for $1.50-2 vs. PPV or VOD prices of $3-6. Netflix's current business model keeps them out of the game on new releases for a few months.

    I remember the halcyon days of Blockbuster well, but when both Blockbuster and Movie Gallery liquidated, I was able to expand my BD library immensely for pennies on the dollar.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I rented DVDs and BDs from Blockbuster until they closed the store near our house a couple of years ago. Now the closest rental store is a Family Video that is several miles away and not really on our way to/from anywhere, so I have not rented an optical disc in awhile. The Kroger supermarket in the same complex where the Blockbuster used to be has a Redbox kiosk, but I have never tried it. At this point, if I am going to rental an optical disc, I want it to be a Blu-ray, and it seems like the kiosk lacks BD versions of a lot of the new films (at least it did last time I checked).

    Say what you will about their policies, but I do miss our local Blockbuster store because it was convenient. With the price of BD's of recent releases being so high anymore, there are a lot of recent films that I have not seen due to the lack of rental options.
     
  17. Douglas_H

    Douglas_H Stunt Coordinator

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    I had many bad experiences with BallBuster. Late fees for 5 mins late. Stocking pan & scan instead of OAR. Stocking only LCDBox Office Hit titles. Netflix came along and changed that until they couldn't handle the demand. Had to go back to BB briefly.
    Anyway the end of a business model.
     
  18. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Our Blockbuster closed last April. The lone remaining video store hanging on around here is an independent. Mostly, the options are either Redbox or streaming.
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I posted these images in a Weekly RoundUp a couple of weeks ago.

    I believe this was the last BlockBuster in the Albany, NY area.

    I used to love all the Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores and other video rental shops that used to litter the landscape of the Capital District. Whenever my wife had some shopping to do, I would inevitably wander into these places and scope out their "previously viewed" product and see what needed to be added to my shelves. :D

    Those places are practically non-existent now. If it wasn't for two remaining FYE (TransWorld) stores in the area, there would be hardly any access to used discs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    The only thing I miss about Blockbuster is getting two a-list blurays for $15 previously viewed. The direction of my collection has changed dramatically since they closed, probably for the better! :laugh:
     
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