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When it comes to obtaining Hollywood Three workaround titles, Redbox is hedging its bets and going with the most successful films.
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So says frequent Redbox commenter Eric Wold, an analyst with Merriman Curhan Ford. According to Wold, recent new releases (500) Days of Summer and All About Steve, both box office disappointments, were completely absent from more than 100 checked kiosks.

Wold asserts that Redbox feels the extra effort and expense it incurs when it purchases Fox, Warner and Universal titles at retail are not worth it with smaller films.
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Said Wold:

“This [lack of availability] was probably due to the movies’ relatively low box office revenue,”

In contrast to the two previously mentioned films, embargoed successful titles The Hangover and Inglourious Basterds were both available in 98% of Wold’s checked kiosks, up from 88% and 85%, respectively, in their first week of availability.

Frequently outspoken Redbox opponent Video Buyers Group disputes Wold’s findings, claiming that  Hangover and Basterds were only stocked in 26% and 24%, respectively, of the 524 Redbox kiosks it surveyed. Said VBG president Ted Engen:

“Wold’s number’s are not even in the realm of possibilities,”

Eric Wold’s credibility sometimes gets called into question on this site, but so does the VBG‘s. Who’s right this time, Insiders? More importantly, what are your findings at your local Redbox?

[via Home Media Magazine]

24 Responses to “Analyst: Redbox Declining to Stock Lesser Embargoed Titles”

  1. Member [Join Now]

    redbox is making me mad with this. many people wait until dvd to rent a certain movie, only to see it’s not in redbox because it’s a flop. meanwhile, they have this straight to dvd crap in redbox

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      1st timer [visitor]

      Well, I’m sure Redbox would happily stock it if they had a distribution deal with Fox or WB. What I think they are saying is that it isn’t worth their time to find other channels to stock a mediocre film and that in doing so probably won’t cause customers to go elsewhere. I agree with this, but I have a Netflix subscription for the less mainstream films.

      It’s analogous to a brick and mortar not stocking enough copies because they don’t anticipate enough demand. This works with Netflix because all subscribers pull from the same much larger pool.

      I’m hoping Fox and WB will realize that boycotting Redbox will not dramatically improve sales of these movies and that they’d make more money by having Redbox buy 40,000+ copies. But if Fox and WB make more money not selling to Redbox, then I think they both parties are justified in their actions.

    • Member [Join Now]

      We want to see new releases period.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    123 [visitor]

    All major new releases are in my local redboxes within a few days of release.

  3. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    Man, if they switch to only wanting to carry only successful box office movies, there would be almost nothing in there! I would say a huge majority of movies I buy probably made between $30 and $80 million at the box office. btw – I bought All About Steve on Blu-ray

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Willechill [visitor]

    i went to hollywood video this week because redox didnt have cetain titles like 9, and a Perfect Getaway, and last week What about Steve and 500 days of Summer.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Gordon Gekko [visitor]

    The answer to the question: who is more reputable, Eric Wold or Video Buyers Group is easy to answer if you look at it from an angle of who has what to gain by obfuscating the truth.

    Eric Wold is an analyst on Wall Street and wants to distinguish himself. Like almost every analyst that covers Coinstar, he rates the company a “buy” and has a price target much higher than the $27 share price. If he is right that Redbox is stocking the right movies and continuing to build a loyal following of users, the stock will advances over time and he will have a notch in his belt.

    On the other hand, Video Buyers Groups seems to be a business that caters to video stores. They hate Redbox since Redbox is killing their customers. In turn, if the “mom and pops” disappear, the Video Buyers Group’s business model will be obsolete. Therefore, their agenda is to make Redbox look weak or inferior to the local “mom and pop” shops and they welcome any chance they get to report problems Redbox is having with stocking their machines.

    Seems pretty simple to me. I would much rather follow a young, hungry analyst who needs to hustle up info on a daily basis in order to provide his customers with an information edge than to folllow a firm whose business model is being threatened by Redbox.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    joe [visitor]

    Based on the following line, everything Wold says is suspect: “According to Wold, recent new releases (500) Days of Summer and All About Steve, both box office disappointments”

    (500) Days of Summer can hardly be seen as a box office disappointment when it had a budget of $7.5 million and grossed $32.3 million. So i guess take everything he says with a grain of salt.

  7. Member [Join Now]
    The Turnip [the-turnip]

    I don’t have much confidence in Wold’s data. He’s claiming 98% availability of Hangover & Inglourious yet I currently see 5-10% (down from a high of 20-25% the day my kiosks were stocked.) Does he understand what he’s seeing as he does his research? Does he know that “Checked Out” not only means ”checked out”, but also “never had”? I wonder if his remaining 2% represents kiosks that are currently offline.

    Another indication that he doesn’t seem to understand how Redbox’s website works: He didn’t have to check 100 kiosks for this week’s missing movies. All he had to do was use the “search movies” feature on the site. If they aren’t listed, they aren’t carried.

    He claims Rebox probably didn’t stock (500) Days of Summer and All About Steve to low box office revenue. However, they did stock two TV-to-DVD titles (Au Pair 3 & Mail Order Bride) that had zero box office revenue. I wonder how that fits into his assessment.

    His conclusions come with too many questions to be trustworthy. But, hey, at least he hasn’t come to this blog and acted in an underhanded, intentionally misleading manner. That’s also a great way to lose all credibility.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      RunninWild [visitor]

      Did anyone stop to think about this? (and I did see a post to this point on here before)

      Maybe redbox just wanted to give their people a break during Christmas and New Years and not make them spend their time buying movies and stocking machines. I found a few good movies to watch and a good old one too. I will reserve judgement until I see them passing on titles like this when its NOT the Holidays.
      I would have liked to hear them say that but I think with a lot of people here, they would piss off someone no matter what they do. This company has showed me that they can roll with a lot of crap being thrown at them from a lot of enemies and I am still able to get pretty much what I’m looking for….even though sometimes it takes a little more work. My kiosks are still on my way to and from work very convenient so screw Video Buyers Group and Netflix and Blockbuster. I’m with you redbox as long as you’re around.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    AL [visitor]

    The only problem I see here is that good movies with good reviews sometimes flop at the box office (500 Days is a perfect example). And, these “good flops” sometimes turn around and do better business in the home video market. On the flipside, it’s also normal for really bad movies to excel at the box office. Redbox should alter it’s habits to include “good flops” in its machines. All they have to do is track reviews and good word-of-mouth to find these titles.

    • Member [Join Now]
      The Turnip [the-turnip]

      That’s an excellent point and I’ve also heard of rentals becoming the “butter on the bread” for some theatrical releases.

      I agree that 500 Days would fit that bill nicely. It’s not on my list of things to watch, but I’ve never found a website where the average rating was below a solid B+. I was equally surprised to see “9” was not stocked. It was also in the $40-50 million gross range, got very good ratings and it had the added benefit of not being under the control of Fox/Universal/Warner.

      Oh well, I’ve said it before: I’ve often been surprised at what Redbox stocks / skips – and that’s been true long before the Studio Wars started.

    • Member [Join Now]
      Timec [timec]

      I don’t think that “500 Days of Summer” could be classified as a flop. As someone above mentioned, it’s a (sort of) independent film that cost $7.5 million to make – and it made a little over $30 million in domestic box office (and an additional $15 million in other countries.) It had good word of mouth and it stuck around the local theaters just as long as some bigger and more mainstream releases. It was never intended to be a blockbuster, and I would guess that rather than being considered a “box office disappointment”, Fox Searchlight, who distributed it, would actually think of it as a pretty big success.

      Other than that, I agree with your point. Quite a few films that fly under the radar during their theatrical run prove to have long legs on home video. These box office “flops”, through word of mouth, gain attention that they failed to get while they were in theaters. One of the prime examples of this is “The Shawshank Redemption”. It attracted little attention and barely made back its production budget during its initial theatrical run, then proceeded to gain a huge following upon its home video release. It’s now one of the most beloved movies of all time and is one of Warner’s strongest, steadiest sellers on DVD/Blu-ray.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    SeanDavid [visitor]

    I for one have been very dissapointed at the lack of availability on certain titles lately. While I have always questioned their choices on title aquisition, they have really been doing bad lately. In the past, redbox has had a funny way of passing on good movies, only to stock machines with REALLY badly made movies. I know that now a lot of the blame is to be placed on the studios they are at war with, but the end result is the same. I have to get these movies from somewhere, and if they are gambling that if they don’t get it I won’t watch it, they are dead wrong.

    So, I have decided to get a monthly subscription with netflix, but before I pull the trigger, I wanted to ask a question to all the netflix users on here: Do you have problems with the new releases getting rented out and becoming unavailable on like the first day??? This happened to me with blockbuster and I couldn’t stand it. I had new movies in my qeue with open spots on monday night, but tuesday morning they would jump to long wait. All I rent and care about are the brand new movies, so is there trouble in this area? Help me out please.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      The Turnip [visitor]

      Well, you’re probably looking in the wrong direction if your primary interest is new movies. I absolutely love Netflix but new releases don’t seem to be their strength. Just like Blockbuster’s DVD-by-mail service, you may get plenty of new releases during the initial “honeymoon period” but a month or two later (earlier if you are a heavy renter) the wait times becomes longer and longer.

      Still, there are a lot of subscribers who swear a little strategy can maximize your likelihood of getting new releases. Mail your discs back on Saturday so NF receives them on Monday (new releases actually start shipping on Monday.) However, if you miss that 1st Monday shipment, it may take several months before you get that movie.

      My recommendation is to use every option available to you. I’ve seen posts here by people who make hysterical threats about never renting from Redbox because of some minimal inconvenience or perceived personal slight. I just roll my eyes and think about how that leaves more copies for me. You would think by that logic they only watch one channel on TV and then get mad because ALL their favorite shows aren’t on that one channel. (“I’ll never watch ESPN again because they don’t show ‘Doctor Who’!”) I subscribe to Netflix, rent from Redbox & BB Express kiosks, use my library, borrow from friends and on rare occasions make that long, long drive to Hastings.

      My favorite tip is to find a cheap rental place close to where you work. If you can visit at lunch, you are practically guaranteed a copy of any new movie you want. It may not be the best price, but you get the movies you want when all other sources fail.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        SeanDavid [visitor]

        Well, I’ve said recently that I am no longer going to use redbox, and that is because it’s true. I used to rent between 2 and 4 movies a week from redbox, but now they are lucky if I get one, and that is almost completely due to their lack of titles. I can only afford to rent from one place or the other. If new releases can be tough to get by mail, I guess I’ll just get an in-store 2 at a time membership, like the MVP one Hollywood has. But since I have to do that, I won’t be able to afford to rent from redbox anymore either. Plus, with them never giving out free codes anymore, they won’t be getting me up to the machines to even consider renting there anymore.

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          The Turnip [visitor]

          That’s the spirit! Find the source(s) that work best for YOU and use it to your advantage. Don’t forget – drop by at lunch if possible and you’ll probably get new releases every time you visit.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    CheapJoo [visitor]

    It’s a dollar for a rental,what do you expect.Don’t like it go to Blockbuster and pay $5.
    Wish all the other jealous vendors would stop vandalizing the discs when they
    return them.Lot of the ones I’ve rented look like they went through a war.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    CheapJoo [visitor]

    If all else fails,torrent the movies for free from china.