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Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes just did an interview with Rick Munarriz over at the Motley Fool, and boy did he come out looking like a fool with some of his comments.

First off, let me say that I have nothing against Keyes or Blockbuster in general. If they can come up with a competitive play that benefits me as a customer, I would give them some of my business, as I have in the past. But, whether they can remains to be seen.

Now, on to the interview and the quote that I think shows just how out of touch Keyes and Blockbuster is on the current competitive environment.

The quote from Keyes:

“Neither RedBox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition,” he said. “It’s more Wal-Mart and Apple.”

My question is: Jim, what are you smoking?

While I am certain Wal-mart and Apple pose threats to Blockbuster, to ignore actual DVD rental companies like Redbox and Netflix as competitors is foolish at best, and delusional at worst.

So, what is going on here? Perhaps Jim is trying to ensure shareholders that Blockbuster is still one of the “big boys”, so only huge corporations (like Wal-mart and Apple) can even be considered as competition. Or, perhaps he sees DVD sales and digital downloads as the real threat, not other companies in the DVD rental space. While I think he is right about those threats, they certainly aren’t the only ones Blockbuster is facing.

Some of the comments on the Motley Fool article show a different tune than the one Keyes is singing, too…

Funny stuff… Here in Denver, one of the most profitable and busy Blockbuster stores in the entire region … just closed its doors. …if Blockbuster wants its grove back, it needs to completely re-visit its pricing strategy.

Blockbuster is going out of business…

I agree with most of the other comments. DVD’s may be a slowly melting glacier, but in-store DVD rental is melting a whole lot faster than DVD rentals as a whole. To dismiss Neflix [and Redbox] as serious competition is delusional…

Check out the article to see the growing list of comments.

Other parts of the interview show that Keyes thinks the future is “in-store digital downloads”. So, he wants people to come back to his stores to put their little memory card in his kiosk and download their movies, then go back home to watch them. Isn’t there an extra step in their somewhere?

Really, if non-streaming digital movies is coming to kiosks, isn’t more likely that Redbox – with over 11,000 locations and growing – would be a better choice? How many of you have a Blockbuster store closer to you than a Redbox? I think I know the answer, as I have to pass by at least 5 Redbox kiosks to get to my nearest Blockbuster store, which is only 2 miles away.
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So what is the point of this post? If Blockbuster execs really think like Keyes has spoken here, I think many investors are about to jump off Blockbuster’s Titanic before it’s too late.
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What do you think?

In a press release issue by Redbox yesterday, they say they stocked over 100,000 copies of popular DVD “Wanted” just three days after the street date.

The delay comes from the pending litigation between Redbox and Universal, with Universal wanting Redbox to sign an agreement that severely limits what Redbox can do with Universal films and when they can rent them.

“Redbox is working to uphold our cornerstone principles, providing customers with all major new release DVDs – when they are released – for just $1 per night,” said Gregg Kaplan, chief executive officer, redbox. “Redbox is committed to providing our customers with the highest level of service and value, and we will continue to acquire DVD titles despite attempts to limit consumer access to titles at our kiosks.”

The press release also states that there was significant additional cost incurred by Redbox is getting this release for its customers. Read the full press release here.

I hope Redbox can get things worked out with its new distribution partners so that they can get the movies in their kiosks on the actual release date, but overall I think it was handled fairly well.
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What do you think? Did the delay cause you to go elsewhere for this movie?
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Are you happy with how Redbox is handling this?

Wanted: Wanted?

Wanted: "Wanted"?

Many of our readers have commented to say that they have contacted Redbox to see what was going on with the new release “Wanted” not being available in their kiosks. It seems that there has been a delay in Redbox receiving the DVDs, thus not allowing them to get them in their kiosks on time.

Now, this just happens to coincide with Universal’s December 1 deadline for its distributors not being allowed to supply Redbox with their releases. This could be a coincidence, but it sure looks like Universal is the cause of this delay by forcing Redbox to get its latest release through other channels.

In any case, Redbox has been telling its customers that the DVD should be available later in the week, most likely by Friday. So, if you can wait a few days, you can save spending your cash at Blockbuster/Hollywood Video, and Redbox will have this week’s hottest release just in time for the weekend.

Maybe Redbox should release a “Wanted” promo code for this minor annoyance. That would help us all feel better. :)

What do you think about all of this?

Here is the Redbox Top 10 rentals for last week (Nov 10-16)…

I have seen 1, 2, 4, and 8 and enjoyed all of them.
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What have you seen?

1. Kung Fu Panda (DreamWorks)
2. Get Smart (Warner)
3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal)
4. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner)
5. Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five (DreamWorks)
6. This Christmas (Sony)
7. The Incredible Hulk (Universal)
8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount)
9. The Strangers (Universal)
10. The Perfect Holiday (Sony)

New Redbox Weekly Email FormatI just checked my email and found the usual Tuesday message from Redbox – but this time with a new look.

It definitely looks a lot nicer, and has more useful links and information.

Awhile back Redbox launched their own blog (not nearly as nice as this one!), and it is now getting more love in their emails.

The blog mostly has commentary on movies and such.
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Currently there is nothing actually from the Redbox people about their business, so I think it is of limited usefulness, but to each their own! You can check it out at:

If you aren’t on the Redbox email list, you can signup here.

What do you think of the new format?
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Redbox has issued a press release that they have filed suit against Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Redbox believes that some new terms that Universal has proposed would prevent them from carrying new movies from them for 45 days after their initial release.

From the release:

Redbox filed the action because redbox believes that new distribution terms proposed by USHE would prohibit redbox from renting Universal Studios DVDs for 45 days after their public release, would limit how many Universal Studios DVDs each redbox kiosk could carry, and would require redbox to destroy, rather than sell at a discount, previously-viewed DVDs from its kiosks.

At this time Redbox still plans to carry all major new releases on their release date, including those of Universal.

I am sure this is complicated, but I am glad to see Redbox is going to bat on this, and not letting the studios dictate how they can run their business.
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What do you think? Should a movie studio be allowed to do this?
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An electronic version of the complaint is available on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website, which can be accessed by clicking on the following link: A copy of the complaint is also available upon request by emailing

Redbox Top 10 DVD Rentals – September 29-October 5, 2008

Here is your latest list of top 10 rentals from the Redbox.
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From Sep 29 – Oct 5, 2008…

1. Iron Man (Paramount)
2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Universal)
3. Sex and the City (Warner)
4. Baby Mama (Universal)
5. Made of Honor (Sony)
6. Leatherheads (Universal)
7. 88 Minutes (Sony)
8. The Love Guru (Paramount)
9. Deception (Fox)
10. What Happens in Vegas (Fox)

Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Over the last few weeks Redbox has hit a handful of significant milestones that show the amazing growth they have been seeing over the past few years.

“We are incredibly proud to achieve 200 million rentals and 10,000 locations nationwide,” said Gregg Kaplan, CEO for Redbox. “Redbox’s proven technology, dedicated workforce and ability to deliver unsurpassed consumer convenience and value have allowed us to expand rapidly in the competitive home entertainment industry.”

In addition to the 200 million rentals and 10,000 locations, the article at VB mentions that Redbox now serves 25 million customers.

When I started Inside Redbox in 2005, Redbox was just testing its service in 5 markets. Now it is nationwide and growing very quickly.

They sure have come a long way. Let’s hope that they continue to listen to their customers and make the service even better for all of us.

Redbox Top 10 DVD Rentals – September 8-14, 2008

Here are your top 10 Redbox rentals for last week (Sept 8-14)…
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1. Baby Mama (Universal)
2. The Forbidden Kingdom (Lions Gate)
3. What Happens In Vegas (Fox)
4. Then She Found Me (Image)
5. 21 (Sony)
6. Street Kings (Fox)
7. Payback (Maverick)
8. Prom Night (2008 Theatrical Version) (Sony)
9. Little Mermaid 3: Ariel’s Beginning (Disney)
10. Nim’s Island (Fox)

Redbox to start stocking Blu-ray?

I just read a report that there are a few Redbox’ out there that have some Blu-ray discs in them…

… we’ve received a report from the wonderfully named Aloha, Oregon that at least one Red Box movie rental kiosk has a Coming Soon flyer for Speed Racer on BD. When our tipster contacted Red Box concerning the discovery, the representative did affirm that if Blu-ray was shown, Blu-ray was on the way…

I also read a comment where someone else said they found a copy of Forbidden Kingdom in Blu-ray in their local Redbox (Milwaukie, Oregon).
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This is unconfirmed at this point. I am still a bit skeptical because I have seen no indication on the upcoming Redbox movie listings that any of the discs are Blu-ray. Perhaps Oregon is a part of some test Redbox is doing, though…
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Have you seen any Blu-ray discs in your Redbox? Let us know!