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By offering cheap, convenient DVD rentals from kiosks across the country, Coinstar has helped make the verb “Redbox” part of the cultural lexicon. For millions of Americans over the last few years, “Let’s Redbox,” has become a common statement. Since this blog is largely read by people who like to Redbox (along with a few haters), we thought it would be interesting to see just how often the Insiders are Redboxing.

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In just a few short years, Redbox has gone from a quirky little afterthought of consumers’ McDonald’s visits to one of the major players in the movie rental market. It has bartered and battled with titans of the movie industry, and had its share of both victories and setbacks. Through it all, the concept has remained elegantly (and maddeningly to some) simple: rent a DVD for a buck a night.

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Like many of you, Insiders, I sat in a darkened theater a few months ago wearing goofy glasses and was taken to another world. James Cameron’s Avatar demonstrated how far 3D technology has come and what it is capable of. Though it has gone in and out of vogue over the decades, the last year or so has seen a surge in the number of films released in 3D, and theater owners are scrambling to install 3D systems across the country. Read the rest of this entry »

The 82nd annual Academy Awards will air this Sunday, and it’s time to place your bets on the winners. There’s been a bit of controversy surrounding the awards this year, with a Hurt Locker producer being banned from the ceremony due to an ethically questionable email campaign. Also adding spice to the occasion is the fact that the directors of the two front-runners for the “Best picture” category, James Cameron (Avatar) and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), are ex-spouses, though neither claims any acrimony with the other.

With a great crop of movies up for awards, and with hosting duties falling to the awesome Alec Baldwin and the acceptable Steve Martin, it should be a great night for the movies.

Below are our predictions for the winners in the major categories. Read the rest of this entry »

Adios, 2009! You were a pretty rough year for car companies, job seekers, celebrity deaths and Tiger Woods. You were, however, a great year for going to the movies. Overall, I would rate 2009 as above average, film-wise, with quite a few terrific movies being released. To close out the year on the right cinematic note, Inside Redbox is presenting you with our favorite films of the year.

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lotrCrazy as it seems, the first decade of the 21st century is about to draw to a close. Like every decade since the inception of the motion picture, there were some absolutely incredible films released.

The Inside Redbox team thought it would be fun to share with you our favorite films from the last ten years and today you get my picks.

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statueA topic that comes up fairly frequently in discussions on this site is the First-Sale Doctrine. As not all of our readers may be familiar with this term and its relevance to the home video industry, we thought it would be a good idea to offer a brief explanation of this often misunderstood tenet of copyright law.

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disasterAs Redbox’s antitrust case against several major studios slowly progresses, it’s only natural to think ahead to possible outcomes and wonder what the future may hold for the kiosk vendor. If worst comes to worst and Redbox’s suits are dismissed or it loses in court, what then? The following are some hypothetical solutions that Redbox could implement to cope with having a large percentage of the major studios’ titles denied to it for 30-45 days after release.

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pinnochio-noseOver the past few months we have run a few stories regarding VBG – the Video Buyers Group – and their opposition to Redbox. (See recent VBG coverage here, here, here and here.) For a blog like this, all news is good news, so we gladly run their stories and viewpoints here, even if we don’t agree. But, come to find out, VBG has been naughty. More on that in a minute…

First, let’s take a look at some of VBG’s claims they make against Redbox:

  • Redbox is destroying the DVD industry with $1 rentals
  • Redbox allows children easy access to R-rated movies

While there are more, these 2 are by far the most common, and will suffice. Let’s look at them in detail.

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(R)editorial: Why We Rent

Buy-vs-RentIt’s no secret that the DVD retail industry is in trouble. Disc sales have posted double-digit declines this year, and studios are panicked and looking around for a scapegoat. I want to discuss one bright spot in all the gloom: rentals. As we have discussed in earlier posts, while sales of discs have been dropping, rentals are up.

Despite a prolonged recession that has stifled most other sectors, box office receipts are actually on track to beat last year’s. This, combined with the uptick in rentals suggests a simple fact: people are still WATCHING movies, they just don’t want to OWN them anymore.

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