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Archive for March, 2010

The United States Postal Service has been facing rising costs and declining mail volume for years. The USPS lost $3.8 billion last year alone, and is looking at drastic measures to stanch the bleeding. Two such solutions are raising rates and suspending Saturday delivery, neither of which would be beneficial to the USPS’ largest corporate customer, Netflix. The Big Money has published a fascinating piece discussing the dilemma Netflix is facing with the USPS.

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Remember Laurie Piechur and her class action suit against Redbox over multi-day rental fees? Ms. Piechur, her attorneys and members of the suit demanded more than $350,000 for Redbox’s allegedly unfair late fees. An Illinois U.S. District Court remanded the case to St. Clair County last month, and Redbox has recently filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

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A somewhat red-faced Blockbuster revealed today that it is not in compliance with a New York Stock Exchange rule and has 45 days to submit a plan that will return it to compliance within 18 months. The rule in question requires that companies listed on the exchange have a global market capitalization (market cap) of $75 million over a 30-day trading period.

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Here are the movies coming to Redbox for the week of March 30, 2010. It looks like it is a sparse week for new releases. What will you watch?

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel PG
Starring: David Cross,Jason Lee,Zachary Levi
Genre: Comedy,Family,Family
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer
An Education PG-13
Starring: Alfred Molina,Peter Sarsgaard,Carey Mulligan
Genre: Drama,Drama,Romance
Release Year: 2008
movie details / trailer
Autumn R
Starring: David Carradine,Dexter Fletcher
Genre: Drama,Horror,Drama,Horror,Thriller
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer
Chipmunk Adventure G
Starring: NA
Genre: Family,redbox Replay,Animated,Family,Musical
Release Year: 1987
movie details / trailer
Ninja Assassin R
Starring: Naomie Harris,Rain
Genre: Action,Adventure
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer
Open Graves R
Starring: Eliza Dushku,Mike Vogel
Genre: Drama,Horror,Drama,Horror,Thriller
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer
Starquest: The Odyssey PG-13
Starring: Adam Rini,Shane Stevens
Genre: Action,Sci-Fi
Release Year: 2009
movie details / trailer

For movie lovers who like Meat Lover’s pizza, life just got a little more convenient. Relatively new kiosk vendor EntertainmentXpress has made a deal with Aurora Huts LLC, a Pizza Hut franchisee, to place kiosks renting DVDs and video games in 155 restaurants throughout Pennsylvania.

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As expected, Blockbuster has released a new application that allows consumers to view movies on mobile devices. For now, the app is only compatible with the T-Mobile HTC HD2 phone, but Blockbuster says Android compatibility is on the horizon.

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Let’s give poor Blockbuster a little break and turn our attention to another failing rental chain, shall we? Movie Gallery, which recently filed for bankruptcy for the second time and has closed nearly half of its locations, will be paying $7.8 million in pre-petition claims to several major studios and a distributor.

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Nintendo Wii owners who have been anxiously waiting by their mailboxes since January are about to have their patience rewarded. Netflix announced on its corporate blog today that it has begun shipping the discs required to use Netflix’s Watch Instantly streaming service on the Wii.

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Foundering Blockbuster was thrown a small lifeline by Warner Home Video today in the form of a new distribution deal. Under the new agreement, Blockbuster will become the only multi-channel provider to stock all major Warner releases the day they are available. Warner’s titles will be offered in Blockbuster’s stores, by-mail and digital services 28 days before they will be available from rivals Redbox and Netflix.

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Studios and others hoping for a return to the heady days of the early 2000s when DVD sales were on fire have gotten a cold splash of reality from a new study. After plunging an estimated 9% last year, DVDs sales will decline a further 12% in 2010, according to Boston firm Strategy Analytics.

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