BLOCKBUSTER: Why the bad rap?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Holadem, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Why does it seem people hate that company so much in the HT community? I think they have pretty good deals. I subscribed a couple of weeks ago to this Lord Of the Rings special: You pay 24.99 for 10 rentals (1 rental a week) AND you get the LOTR DVD for FREE when it's released on Aug 16. That is pretty much 10 free rentals, or 4 free rentals and a free movie, whatever way you wish to look at it.
    However the biggest deal for me they offer is the used DVDs. Harry Potter, A Beautiful Mind, Ali, and many other relatively new releases etc... all for $14.99 a few weeks after release, sometimes less than a month after (ABM for example). Many of these movies sell for less: Legaly Blonde, Behind Enemmy Lines and a few others are $12.99. If waiting one extra month after release date will allow me to get those movies for these ridiculous prices then I am all for it!
    Until two weeks ago, my store had a buy 2 get a third one free deal. Where else do you get deals like that from? [​IMG]
    So really, why do we hate them so much again? Have I sold out? [​IMG]
    --
    Holadem
     
  2. Benson R

    Benson R Supporting Actor

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    There are really three reasons though on one of them they seem to be coming around. First of all they never stock widescreen when there are dual releases although they appear to have changed that position at least near me. Two corporate policy prohibits carrying unrated or nc17 titles. Three there ability to gain price advantages that independent stores can't get forces competitors out of business. In my area there used to be about 4 stores but since blockbuster opened last year they all closed within 6 months. Normally I am all for capitalism as it is easier to get new releases at blockbuster but if there is a title you want to rent that blockbuster does not carry you are out of luck.
     
  3. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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    1. They carry mostly mainstream titles, which I have little to no interest in.

    2. Their monopolistic, anti-competitive business practices mean that there probably never will be a store near me that carries movies that I am interested in.

    3. Their refusal to carry NC-17 movies helps keep those movies from being made.
     
  4. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I could write a book here, but I'll just headline my basic complaints.

    1. As mentioned above, their monopolistic practices of forcing the Mom & Pop joints out of business is really sad. I realize this is part of business, but Blockbuster seems to take it to another level.

    2. Refusal to carry Unrated and NC-17 movies. After they run the smaller stores out of town, you're left with no options.

    3. They demand the studios to play games and cut them huge deals and when a studio refuses to play ball with them, they won't carry their movies. (i.e. American Beauty)

    4. Extremely limited selection. Selections used to be much greater, but most Blockbusters are now liquidating the older movies in order to make room for more new releases.

    5. High prices, excessive late fee charges & short rental windows. I understand this has changed recently, but I haven't stepped foot in a BallBuster Video for over 4 years, so I don't know what their current policy is. I rented Mad Max & Double Indemntiy from them about 6 years ago and it was over $7 which I thought was outrageous for 2 old movies. It was mid-summer, so I put the videos under my seat so they wouldn't melt and I forgot about them for a couple of days. To make a long story short, I had these 2 movies for less than a week and it cost me $25. I could have bought both titles for that, and I could be wrong but I doubt the demand for those titles justified the fees I had to pay.

    5. Ignorant Useless Employees. Twice I had employees try to talk me out of renting a classic movie when using a coupon, because I wasn't getting the maximum value out of it. I was belittled for trying to enter a store with a closed bottle of pop, and their excuse was that they might think I stole it when I leave. There were only a handful of people in the store at the time, I think they could have remembered me.

    6. Editing of movies. I don't remember the exact titles, but in the past, Blockbuster has demanded changes to movies before they will carry them.

    7. Longtime support of P&S. This has also changed recently according to reports I've read here on the forum, but I wouldn't know as I haven't crossed their threshold in a long-time.

    8. Their annoying ad campaigns. That dancing hamster makes me want to kill myself.


    I'm sure I'll come up with more later.
     
  5. DanHaya

    DanHaya Second Unit

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    I've boycotted Blockbuster since Wayne Huizenga (who used to own Blockbuster before he sold it to Viacom) waved a bunch of cash in front of Major League Baseball owners and stole the expansion team (which became the Florida Marlins)that should have gone to Tampa/St. Petersburg, then conspired with Bud Selig to block the move of the San Francisco Giants to Tampa/St. Pete.

    Of course, that has nothing to do with movies, but that is my primary reason.
     
  6. mike martin

    mike martin Stunt Coordinator

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    i agree with almost everything said above; but there are problems with -every- rental service. At least all that i have dealt with. Where I live, there really are only a few options. We have BB, Hollywood, and Mr. Movies (is Mr. Movies a national chain?). Of course there are some grecery stores and the like; but no need to discuss those really.

    What I've been doing is rotating. I rent at one of the above for three or four months. This alows me to rent the older titles they have that I haven't seen yet, or newer ones that aren't available at other places, before the BAD parts of the store wear me down. Or I generally take advantage of any specials they are having. So right now I'm at BB. I went for the rewards and the Rings special. In fact they have many titles that the other stores don't. My other stores have NO tv on dvd. Of course I am already getting annoyed with their "new release" situation. Titles over a year old are still "new" aparently.

    Maybe some of you have local stores that have huge selections of dvd's and reasonable deals. But i don't have any here. So i will rent from bb; at least until the morons at the desk have broke the last straw when they inform me that, yes in fact, Sopranos season one is a new realeas.

    Oh, and yes, ive been with netflix. wonderful, wonderful selection, if in fact they are ever available to rent, and if in fact they actualliy arrive within a week of being sent.
     
  7. Eric Bass

    Eric Bass Second Unit

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    Three words:

    Rental

    Pricing

    Window
     
  8. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    For starters, the selection is extremely mainstream. If you're searching for independent, off-Hollywood films, you're pretty much SOL. They do carry Requiem for a Dream, for example, but all you're gonna get is an edited version not approved by the director. Their ridiculous policy against NC-17 and unrated films have made a virtual synonyms of "family" and "censorship."

    I resent the way they've run smaller stores out of business, essentially establishing themselves as a monopoly, especially in small cities and towns like mine.

    Furthermore, films are nothing but product to this company. It would be a laugh to suggest they care about artistic integrity blah blah blah. The store in my town permanently removed the 1963 version of The Haunting off the shelf to make room for several copies of the crappy remake!

    This store is not for people who like movies, but for those who like videos.
     
  9. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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  10. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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  11. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    Blockbuster has really redeemed themselves in my eyes lately. Where I live they now ONLY stock widescreen copies of new dual-release movies - even so-called "family" titles like Harry Potter. Also, they seem to have backed down on their demands to the studios for a rental pricing window.

    They still get my business.
     
  12. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  13. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    As others have said, a lot of the resentment of BB is due to past practices. Also, I get the feeling that some decisions are made locally rather than at the corporate HQ, so the situation may vary between stores.

    My local BB, which once informed me that they would NEVER stock DVDs, now has an INCREDIBLE selection, including tons of foreign (including lots of anime) and classic films. Their deals on used discs and games are just about the best anywhere these days, too. (Also, they send me a free rental coupon just about once a month.)
     
  14. Felicia J

    Felicia J Agent

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  15. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Where I live, there isn't just one but two Blockbuster stores tightening the reigns on the local viewing public. They have succeded in closing down every video store (about 6) with the exception of Family Video and Hastings. Family Video, however, has the same policy as Blockbuster in that they will only carry P&S movies and refuse to carry NC-17 or unrated films. So Hastings gets ALL my business. My only beef with Hastings is it sometimes takes them upwards of 2 - 3 weeks to get some newly released titles...Top Secret for instance - Was not instore Tuesday. Unless I wish to travel roughly 50 miles one way to buy it at Best Buy, I'm gonna have to wait a couple weeks for them to get it in. Mainstream titles, on the other hand, are always available in store on day of release in OAR.
     
  16. Benson R

    Benson R Supporting Actor

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    I never thought I would defend blockbuster but that whole titanic debacle I believe was an independent out in colorado if memory serves me. However I think that the edited requiem for a dream was created solely for blockbuster over there refusal to stock it. This is a good example of peoples dislike for blockbuster. I refuse to watch the edited version of that movie. Since there are no alternatives to blockbuster I have yet to see it. The only way I can see it in an acceptable way is to buy it which I do not want to do as I have heard varying opinions on it. Another good example is Orgazmo which is nc 17. I rented it at an independent a long time ago and loved it. I would like to be able to rent it again so I can view it once more before the dvd release which has been delayed, but can not because the only place for me to rent is blockbuster and they do not carry it.
     
  17. Felicia J

    Felicia J Agent

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  18. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Eric, your points seem to summrize the consensus very well. I will answer to those I disagree with:
     
  19. Mark Hanson

    Mark Hanson Agent

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    With Hollywood, BB in town we use Hastings. As listed before the main problem they seem to have is getting items in on time. When the DVD and VHS were released on the same day the had the VHS not DVD. With a DVD section as large or large than VHS to move the silver disks around. Still is cheaper, staff usually can answer a question with a few good movie buffs in the mix.
     
  20. Chet_F

    Chet_F Supporting Actor

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    I use to work 3rd shift and had plenty of time on my hands so I would rent from Ballbuster. Then I started hearing about the edited movies - and in fact had this happen to me. Why would I want to pay 3.50 for a movie that doesn't contain the whole movie. Putting aside the fact that they do not tell the customers that they edit movies. It's all hush hush. Well, unfortunatley the whole situation left a bad taste in my mouth and I have refused to rent from them since. I'll say it again...Ballbuster does not know one thing about customer satisfaction. THey just bow down to the most common denominator. I'm sure you know what that is.
    On a side note I had a movie that they said was 562 days late. Their own system said it was in stock and they hadn't even had the movie for that long. The date that this happened??? 1-4-00 Talk about a computer glitch. The funniest part was the goofy kid saying he couldn't do anything about it and that he would have a supervisor call me at which point I laughed and walked out the door.[​IMG]
     

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