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Archive for August, 2009

It has been a few weeks since the court decided to allow the Redbox lawsuit against Universal to go forward. While Universal and their friends have claimed victory in the dismissal of two of Redbox’s claims, the claim that remains on the table is based on one word the studios don’t want to hear: antitrust.

The question is: Does the antitrust complaint have any merit, and does Redbox have any chance of successfully prosecuting this claim?

I am sure there has been lengthy discussion on both sides around this issue, and my guess is that Universal (and all other studios) don’t think a loss on this issue is worth the risk. So what will they do?

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NCR, Blockbuster’s kiosk-manufacuring partner, has announced the expansion of their Blockbuster Express kiosks into Connecticut and Massachusetts in September. According to them, they will have their blue kiosks in all 57 “Big Y” grocery stories by the end of the week (Sept 3).

In addition to the Big Y expansion, NCR says there will be 500 of their kiosks in operation by the end of the month, as they rebrand some of their recently purchased The New Release kiosks in Publix stores throughout the Southeast.

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Disneynature: Earth G
Starring: James Earl Jones (Voice)
Genre:
Release Year: 2007
movie details / trailer
Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas R
Starring: Antonio Sabato Jr.,John Diehl,Kelly Curran
Genre:
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer
Good Dick R
Starring: Jason Ritter,Marianna Palka
Genre:
Release Year: 2008
movie details / trailer
Humanity's End R
Starring: William David Tulin,Cynthia Ickes
Genre:
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer
Impact NR
Starring: James Cromwell,Benjamin Sadler,David James Elliot,Florentine Lahme,Natasha Henstridge
Genre:
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer
State of Play PG-13
Starring: Ben Affleck,Rachel McAdams,Russell Crowe
Genre:
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer
Sugar PG-13
Starring: Algenis Perez Soto,Richard Bull,Michael Gaston
Genre:
Release Year: 2008
movie details / trailer
Tired of Kissing Frogs (seg) NR
Starring: Ana Serradilla,Juan Manuel Bernal,Miguel Rodarte
Genre:
Release Year: 2006
movie details / trailer
Tunnel Rats R
Starring: Michael Par
Genre:
Release Year: 2008
movie details / trailer

Congratulations to Mary Edwards of Missouri on being chosen as the winner of our August giveaway. She has chosen the Samsung Blu-ray (BD-P1590) Player as her prize.

I had the pleasure of calling Mary on the phone after her entry was chosen as the winner, and found out that today is her birthday! She was very excited to have a nice surprise birthday gift from Inside Redbox.

So, Happy Birthday to Mary, and congratulations! She has promised to send a photo of her and her family with her prize as soon as she gets it. Once I get the photo, I will post it here.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to everyone who voted for Darin’s scholarship video. I will post again soon and let everyone know if Darin won the scholarship for law school. The winner is supposed to be announced on September 1.

Stay tuned for another fun giveaway in September.

Giveaway stats after the break…

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Well, we knew it was coming, and now it has. Paramount (Viacom) was really the last big studio to choose a side in the wars between studios and DVD kiosk operators like Redbox. And, for the time being, it looks like they have chosen the red team.

In a press release issued earlier today, Redbox and Paramount announced a trial program that will keep Paramount releases in Redbox kiosks on the first day of their release. From the press release:

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Here are your top rentals from Redbox for the week ending August 23, 2009. What do you think?

1. Hannah Montana: The Movie
2. 17 Again
3. I Love You, Man
4. Obsessed
5. Race to Witch Mountain
6. The Soloist
7. Fast and Furious
8. Last House on the Left
9. Knowing
10. Labor Pains

Here we have some nice, normal Redbox news for a change.

Redbox VP Gary Cohen has announced that they are working on ways to speed up their kiosks, including faster disc vending and allowing customers to return DVDs while others are browsing for movies.

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In the biggest surprise of the year, Redbox has now filed suit against Warner in federal court. This makes the third big studio Redbox has taken on, after their recent suit against Fox and their suit against Universal last year.

Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, filed suit in Delaware Federal Court against Warner Home Video on Tuesday, August 18, 2009, to protect consumers’ rights to access new release DVDs. Redbox filed the action in response to new distribution terms imposed by Warner Home Video that would prohibit redbox from providing consumers access to Warner Home Video titles until at least 28 days after public release.

With this lawsuit, Redbox now is taking on studios responsible for 50% of movies made. While this response was clearly expected, this whole fiasco is clearly all about PR. Redbox has even recently put up a new website at www.savelowcostdvds.com to keep the public informed and garner more support.

I agree that the studios are being greedy here, and probably should rethink their strategy, but Redbox knows they have the public on their side. It makes sense for them to sue any studio that implements these types of policies. As long as they prevail against Universal, they automatically win all cases, but that may not even matter if they win the war of public opinion.

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The lawsuit Redbox filed last year against Universal is finally winding its way through the legal system. Yesterday a U.S District Court judge from Delaware made a ruling on Universal’s request for dismissal. The ruling has both Universal and Redbox claiming victory.

Robert Kugler, a U.S. District Court judge for Delaware, granted the dismissal of two of the three counts against Universal in the 10-month-old lawsuit but denied Universal’s motion to dismiss the antitrust claim altogether, according to court records.

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