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The top 10 dvd rentals from Redbox kiosks from September 1-7, 2008 were:

1. What Happens In Vegas (Fox)
2. Then She Found Me (Image)
3. Street Kings (Fox)
4. 21 (Sony)
5. Payback (Maverick)
6. Prom Night (2008 theatrical version) (Sony)
7. Little Mermaid 3: Ariel’s Beginning (Disney)
8. Nim’s Island (Fox)
9. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (New Line)
10. The Bank Job (Lions Gate)

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that Redbox has recently moved its call center to Downer’s Grove, and are hiring through the end of the year…

The 24,000 square-foot facility, located at 1431 Opus Place, currently houses 190 customer service employees and is expected to staff approximately 210 employees by the end of 2008. Redbox is seeking employees to fill positions across all levels of experience.

The Redbox call center was previously located in the company’s headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace.

Another interesting tidbit in the article states that Redbox now has “more than 9,000 locations nationwide”, edging them ever-closer to the magical 10,000 mark. It looks like they may reach their goal earlier than expected.

Congrats Redbox, and if anyone is in the Chicago area and looking for a job, give ’em a call.

Lately I have seen some comments here and read some news reports about what many people consider the biggest weakness of Redbox and other DVD rental kiosks: lack of selection.

But, my question is: Do they really need better selection?

To me, Redbox is all about new releases. If I want to to see the latest movies that are just out on DVD, Redbox is where I go. If I want to watch an older flick, I go somewhere else. I don’t expect Redbox to have older movies, nor does it bother me that they don’t have them.

Some may disagree (as stated in this article), but I just don’t get it.

Now, I do have a problem with the fact that Redbox seems to lack many new releases. I realize Blockbuster has exclusive rights to some movies, but certainly Redbox is missing others as well. I think Redbox would be smart to try harder to ensure that they get ALL of the new releases in their kiosks.

Personally, I will give up “selection” any day for consistency. Redbox needs to be the place to go to get new releases – ALL of them – period.

What are you thoughts on this? If you think they should have older releases, please explain.

Yet another small town is petitioning to keep Redbox out of their town because of concerns of their children watching R-rated movies.

The article uses the same arguments we have seen before, but feel free to read it if you are bored.

My favorite quote from the article is this:

“The question is, are they the problem? Where’s the responsibility for the parents?” wondered one Winchester resident.

Those are my thoughts exactly, which many of you have expressed as well.

Any new thoughts on this?

Redbox Top 10 DVD Rentals – August 18-24, 2008

Here are the top 10 rentals from Redbox for last week. Have you seen any of them?

1. Street Kings (Fox)
2. Prom Night (2008 Theatrical Version) – Sony
3. 21 (Sony)
4. Nim’s Island (Fox)
5. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (New Line)
6. Smart People (Disney)
7. The Bank Job (Lions Gate)
8. College Road Trip (Disney)
9. Drillbit Taylor (Paramount)
10. Camp Rock (Disney)

Redbox ElvisAviation News is reporting that 2 Redbox kiosks are being installed at the Nashville International Airport, making it the first airport to get a Redbox anywhere in the country.

I wonder if it will be stocked with an over-abundance “direct-to-video” Elvis DVDs?

What do you think: Would you rent from a Redbox at the airport?

In a not-so-surprising move, Blockbuster – the original movie rental giant that has taken a beating recently by Netflix and Redbox – has announced that they will be placing 50 DVD rental kiosks in a pilot test they are doing.

Blockbuster previously announced their partnership with NCR – the maker of ATM machines – for the download-only kiosks they are testing in Dallas. This new announcement expands that agreement to include these new dvd kiosks.

The scary part of all of this is that Blockbuster and NCR have enough funding to enter the DVD kiosk arena with a lot of force and intensity. Check out this quote from the release:

“This alliance with Blockbuster is an exciting step for NCR as we pursue our mission of becoming the leader in the market for entertainment self- service solutions,” said Bill Nuti, NCR chairman and CEO. “Looking beyond this initial deployment, our mutual goal is to have 10,000 kiosks installed within 18 months. We are energized and thrilled to be such an integral part of Blockbuster’s strategy for providing consumers with greater choice and convenience.”

10,000 kiosks in 18 months… That is a large number and could really hurt Redbox. I wonder if Redbox had wind of this recently and that is why they delayed their IPO. News like this – especially if Blockbuster is successful in their test – could really hurt share prices in an IPO.

Anyway, read the full press release if you want the full scoop, and stay tuned for more developments on this over the next 3-6 months.

What do you think? Will Blockbuster takeover the DVD rental kiosk space and put an end to Redbox and other competitors?

Coinstar has issued a press release regarding is Q2 2008 earnings, and it looks like Redbox has been good to them.

Redbox saw a 200% revenue growth from last year, with sales of $57.8 million last quarter, and earnings of $11.5 million. Of course, Redbox has also more than doubled their kiosk installations from this time last year as well, going from 4,300 a year ago, to 9,600 as of the end of last quarter.

Coinstar upped its share in Redbox from 47% to 51% this past January, to become the majority stakeholder in the company. McDonald’s – along with a handful of other investors – owns the remainder of the company.

So, it doesn’t look like all of the free promo codes they are giving out is hurting their business, but instead continuing to drive their growth. Now, if they can just get their IPO done, Redbox investors will be very happy, indeed.

Redbox Top 10 DVD Rentals – July 21-27, 2008

Here is the latest rental numbers for Redbox. These are the top 10 rentals between July 21 and July 28, 2008.

1. 21 (Sony)
2. The Bank Job (Lions Gate)
3. College Road Trip (Disney)
4. Step Up 2: The Streets (Disney)
5. Drillbit Taylor (Paramount)
6. Vantage Point (Sony)
7. 10,000 B.C.(Warner)
8. Definitely, Maybe ( Universal)
9. Fool’s Gold (Warner)
10. The Bucket List (Warner)

Redbox has announced that they have promoted Mary Leonard – formerly with RR Donnelley and FedEx – to Senior Vice President of Operations.

Leonard joined Redbox in 2006 and has been in charge of DVD distribution and management of regional employees. She will now be in charge of overseeing deployment of Redbox kiosks.

COO Mitch Lowe had this to say about Mary:

Mary’s expertise has helped Redbox meet or exceed installation timelines for our retail partners and optimize operations to ensure a seamless Redbox experience for our clients and customers. Her leadership skills have helped engage and unify Redbox’s extensive network of regional employees, enhancing their ability to provide the highest level of service.

Congratulations to Mary.

Regarding kiosk deployment, what I hope to see in the future is Redbox being a bit more responsive to faulty touchscreens and otherwise broken kiosks. There is a touchscreen at a nearby Walmart that has been broken for months (1/3 of the screen does not respond to touch). Recently, they installed a second kiosk at that location, but still did not fix the touchscreen on the first kiosk.

I have called and reported the touchscreen problems, and obviously someone is out each week to load new discs, so why should this problem not have been fixed long ago?

So, Mary, if you are reading this, is there something that can be done about this problem?

Has anyone else experienced any problems with their Redbox kiosks not functioning properly?