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Blockbuster Concedes As Redbox And Netflix Prove To Be The Way Of The Future


The above photo taken from The Onion isn’t too far off: Blockbuster is in dire straits. It’s hard to feel sorry for the massive video rental chain, though. They’re the monopoly that destroyed the market for independent retailers and censored hundreds of films. But now the company is getting desperate. According to Studio Briefing, Blockbuster is facing an astronomical third quarter loss of $116 million in revenue (it was only about $20 million at the same time a year ago) due to layoffs, severance pay, shut-down stores, and piling debt.

The human side of this debacle is sad, as many of those workers do indeed have families to care for. But, goddamn, I love the idea of Blockbuster getting its ass cooked. The chain always way over-charges on their movies, has a crappy selection and their sterile decor makes for an excruciating renting experience. And to what do we owe Blockbuster’s troubles to? Two words: Redbox and Netflix.

People are renting and buying fewer and fewer DVDs, and if they do at all, they prefer to pay $1 instead of $4.99. That’s why Blockbuster is deciding not to compete with its enemies, but to become them (kind of like that John Travolta/Nic Cage thriller from the 90s).

The chain plans to open over 2,500 DVD rental kiosks across the country by the new year as well as go full-force into its On Demand delivery service. Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes released this statement to explain his move:

There’s really only one threat to Blockbuster, and that’s if we don’t adapt.

Great – now we’ll have competing kiosks! Pretty soon the front sidewalk of 7-Eleven is going to run out of room.

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