Netflix Caves to Warner Bros. on 56 Day Delay

Redbox tells them to screw off

Well, well.  It looks like Netflix needs to borrow some balls from Redbox.  Earlier this month it was announced that Netflix had agreed to an increased delay of Warner Bros. DVD releases – an increase to 56 days or double the current asinine delay of 28 days.

Image of Goblin in Stocks

DVDs held hostage like a goblin in stocks. So sad.

The studio seems absolutely convinced that if they hold their movies like little hostages people will pay the ransom of buying the DVD rather than waiting for the rental release.  That is, of course, idiotic.  Buyers buy, renters rent.  Never the twain shall meet.  Why the hell should I buy a movie I didn’t care enough to see in the theater?  Answer – I won’t.  I’ll wait the extra days or simply watch something else.  It’s not like there’s some kind of shortage of visual media – and a lot of it doesn’t suck as much as Warner Bros. releases.  Somehow I doubt that I’ll be rushing out to buy their inexplicable Queen Latifah/Dolly Parton outing Joyful Noise the day it’s released.  Or ever.

In any case – Netflix caved.  They agreed to the 56 day Warner Bros. delay.  No other studios are following at the moment, maybe because somewhere in the bowels of their offices resides someone sane.

But Redbox said no.  Told Warner Bros. to screw and that they would buy the discs retail to stock their kiosks.  An expensive response, to be sure, and not guaranteed to put a copy of every new release in every customer’s hands on day 1 – but I admire their guts.

The studios that insist on delaying releases to rental companies chap my ass.  I do not believe, no matter what their PR hacks claim, that such measures increase DVD sales.  All it does is reek of pathetic desperation and greed.  Normally when economic times are troubled, entertainment spending rises as people seek to escape their worries.  Not this time.  Hollywood had a rotten box office over all in 2011 and their whining was so loud and prolonged that every weepy 3-year-old in the country was embarrassed and vowed never to whine again.  Boo-hoo, Hollywood.  Stop making crappy movies and guess what?  People might go see them.  The economy may have sucked, but that didn’t mean that people were so desperate to escape that they would spend their precious dollars on remakes, sequels and prequels.  Economic troubles do not automatically make us stupid.

So good for you, Redbox!  I’m glad you took a stand.  If there happens to be a Warner Bros. release that I’m eager to see, I’ll gladly get it from one of your kiosks, despite being a long-time and very loyal Netflix user.  This kind of moxie deserves to be rewarded.

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