Weinstein Company signs exclusive rental deal with Blockbuster. BAD IDEA.

Michael Allred

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http://www.dvdactive.com/news/indust...ntal-deal.html


Great idea.....NOT. The nearest Blockbuster is 30(+) minutes away and I'm not trekking THAT far for movies. This basically means that Weinstein flicks I'm really interested in, I'll have to see in theaters and if I like them, I'll just buy the DVD on release date. The other stuff will just have to go unseen until they hit the movie channels.

I'm curious though, will other movie studios follow the same path in the future? Say what if Warner Brothers signs a exclusive rental deal with Hollywood Video and FOX goes exclusive with Family Video, etc etc etc? Is this going to break down into individual tribes?

Why would the Weinstein company essentially limit their rental business to just ONE company knowing that a percentage of consumers will never see those films (for whatever reason....Blockbuster is too far away from them, they simply don't like that company, whatever.) The deal seems pretty narrow minded to me.
 

TravisR

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Blockbuster will get way more copies of each movie than they would have without this deal. They may even be selling more copies to Blockbuster than they would have to all the other rental outlets total. People will rent any title if there's alot of them (I guess they figure 'It must be good if they have this many copies') so it's a win for Blockbuster too.

Personally, I doubt you have to worry about other studios doing the same thing because the Weinstein company is doing it just to try to get more recognition for their titles and big studios don't need to worry about that.
 

Jon Martin

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This is a HORRIBLE idea. I haven't been to a Blockbuster in years. And, quite honestly, those titles aren't enough for me to get a membership.

I'm staying with Netflix, and will just have to wait for cable if I want to see a film.

And just thought, what about independent video stores? This isn't fair to them.

One of the titles listed is Quentin Tarantino's GRINDHOUSE. All the independent stores that championed him, and where he once worked, won't be able to carry his latest film.
 

Heathen

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Not only is this just plain stupid on just about every front, it is practically impossible with them being out for sell-through. All one has to do is go to their nearest Wal-Mat or Best Buy and purchase items for their stores. Hell, even Net-Flix can take this route if they so deemed. If I were head of Net-Flix, I'd develop a plan to get those titles from sell-through outlets. There is nothing Blockbuster or Weinstein can do about it either (It's call the First Sale Doctrine)... It just adds a minute level of complexity for stocking individual stores. Other than that, it should be business as usual.
 

Aaron Silverman

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First Sale Doctrine doesn't allow you to rent things out; it means that you can sell them outright. There's a big difference. Those sell-through copies will not be legally rentable.
 

Stephen_J_H

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All the more reason video rental is going down the toilet....
I haven't been in a Blockbuster in nearly 4 years; I'd rather go to Rogers Video. They usually have a better selection, and their prices are more reasonable, as is their version of "No Late Fees."
 

Mark Kalzer

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Yeah this is a just plain stupid idea. I highly doubt it has any effect in Canada since Weinstien's products are distributed through Alliance (Finally, having Alliance counts for something) but still the principle applies. I always had a bit more respect for the Weinstein's...what a dissapointment. Way to not stick out for the little guy. Do they think that any of these video store clerk filmmakers they flaunt so much didn't come from mom and pop shops?
 

EricSchulz

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Aaron,
Are you sure about the First Sale Doctrine rule? One of the articles I read last night online (probably USA Today or Entertainment Weekly) mentioned that this was a way to circumvent the exclusive deal. I could POSSIBLY see independent stores doing it, but I don't think NetFlix will.
 

streeter

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Eric, you're right. I think Aaron misunderstood the First Sale Doctrine (or rather, how it applies to video rental).
 

Harpozep

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I own an independent video rental store with six thousand or so releases. It is only part of my mix as we import anime, sell comic books, sell and play role playing games and miniatures.
We get many used DVDs in and put some into the rental system . I'm not going to have the time to figure out which title is which in a scenario such as the one this thread is about. I get some new releases from distributors ( mostly anime ), and then do the Tuesday Wal Mart/Best Buy/ BJ's hunt.

Directly across the street is a pawn shop that sells all DVDs at 3/$10.00 or cheaper, so we are really in the trenches here.
We only get to buy used DVDs because we pay $2.00 each rather than the pawn shop's $1.00 per DVD. I'll pay $3.00 for a recent release. OPnce a DVD is used, it has almost no value on the street. That is why I go for the rental model.

I'll go ask my friend who runs the local Blockbuster what this all means if The Weinstine scenario comes to pass.
 

ChristopherDAC

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You bet First Sale Doctrine protects libraries, rental outlets, all that kind. The movie studios tried to shut down video rental businesses and tape-library clubs by way of lawsuit when they first started up back in the late 1970s, and they were uniformly rebuffed by the courts on just this ground : you bought it, it's yours, you can do what you like. That's why we got "rental windows" on VHS, and all that junk.

With DVD, that business model went out the window, and if Blockbuster think they can make it live again, they're dreaming. It's true that NetFlix has a kind of revenue-sharing arrangement with at least some studios, under which they recieve special DVDs and split the rental fees rather than buying the regular releases, but their business model doesn't die without such a setup. I think the Weinstein Co. did it, first, because BlBr have to guarantee them a certain minimum on each title released, and second because they have to know it will stimulate retail sales.
 

David_Blackwell

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This is a stupid idea. Blockbuster is a poor video store. I rather rent from Movie Gallery. Movie Gallery and pawn shops have better previously-viewed DVD deals than Blockbuster. How can this be enforced since Blockbyuster isn't in some cities or twons? Independent video stores will just pick up these titles from local retail and rent them.
 

Elijah Sullivan

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As someone who manages and orders for a video store, I am completely pissed. The Weinsteins must be off their rockers...

Oddly enough, we already have School for Scoundrels and The Protector on order from the company... does that mean they are going to cancel our order or has the definition of "exclusive" recently changed?
 

Will_B

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Netflix has or had exclusive titles from the Independent Film Channel.

So Blockbuster has copied Netflix and now will have some exclusives too.

Fair enough.

I believe that Blockbuster Canada also had exclusive Sundance Film Festival titles...or some festival, anyway. Titles that hadn't even been released as retail DVDs turned up at Blockbuster Canada first. I only know this because one of those Blockbuster Canada exclusives, Niagara Motel, is a movie I've been hoping will come out in the United States.
 

Will_B

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I also want to mention that as bad as the physical Blockbusters can be, the Blockbuster Online service offers something Netflix simply cannot:

I can take my Blockbuster Online return envelope (with the DVD I want to return) in to most any Blockbuster store, and hand it to the clerk and get a free rental off the shelf in exchange.

This is new -- it has been this way for a couple weeks so far -- and it is intended to strike a fatal blow to Netflix (if Blockbuster doesn't die first).

Some of the independently owned Blockbuster stores are not participating, but most are. I've heard that the physical stores get paid $1.50 by Blockbuster Online for taking in a return, and another $1.50 if one of their off-the-shelf titles goes out for free.

It effectively doubles the numbers of rentals that Blockbuster Online members get.

Clearly Blockbuster is trying to knock down Netflix with these aggressive moves.
 

Heathen

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Actually, you are dead wrong. The underlining principle of The First Sale Doctrine is that once a copyrighted item is legitimately obtained in the market, the purchaser can do whatever they want with it, including rent it back out. That is how the whole video rental business started in the first place, and the studios took it all the way to the Supreme Court, and ultimately failed.
 

Heathen

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Personally, I think NetFlix would be a fool not to obtain material elsewhere, such as Wal-Mart, which not only matches prices, but doesn't place limits on purchases....
 

TravisR

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I don't see this as much of an issue because I don't think the Weinsteins are going to release a movie that is actually big enough renter to make non-Blockbuster stores care. That's not to say that they won't be making good movies, I just don't see them putting out anything besides smaller movies that won't appeal to a mass audience.
 

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