Wednesday, November 15, 2006

All Dallas, all day. Or until something else distracts me.

Is this, truly, a smart move for Blockbuster? "The Weinstein Company has entered an unusual deal with Blockbuster that will make the vidtailer the exclusive rental outlet for all Weinstein Company releases. As part of the four-year pact, TWC will not make available any titles through competing rental outlets -- including Blockbuster rivals Netflix and Movie Gallery."

First, there's gotta be a price: "Execs familiar with the deal also said that Blockbuster will guarantee payments that amount to a certain percentage of box office." Sweet for the Weinstein boys. And sweet for a moviemaker who has crap-titles that Wal-Mart isn't interested in selling as a loss leader: "studios have no wish to see the vidtailer file for bankruptcy. For one thing, Blockbuster is still a major customer of the studios and owes most of them money....Blockbuster also a key place to studios look[ing] to monetize their B and C pics, which might not find shelf space at mass merchants as easily. Plus, Wal-Mart's muscle scares them."

Of course you can still buy Weinstein movies anywhere and at a time when DVDs seem downright disposable, this might not help Blockbuster at all. Poor John Antioco. Imagine how much more money he'd make if he could come up with good ideas!


Make the logo bigger said...

Where does this end, ya know? Does Netflix and Hollywood now say to BB as an F-You, when Mel Gibson's next megahit, or even Borat comes out on DVD, guess who just got exclusive rights to distribute it?

I don't think Wal-Mart can offer the selection that all the rental outlets do because look at how conservative they are when it comes to music. Having said that, even that could change.

Wal-Mart also isn't in the rental biz for DVDs - yet. But judging by how they undercut Apple and went with an .88¢ per song download, won't be long before they get into the rental game.

Irene Done said...

See, that's why I think this deal only benefits the Weinsteins. They're guaranteed the rental money even for their crappy movies and they still get to enjoy unlimited DVD sales for their big hits. And it gives Blockbuster no ammunition against WalMart who will sell the big Weinstein titles cheap to draw people instore. Blockbuster's troubles are as much a result of WalMart sales as NetFlix rentals. I just don't get it.