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In another bonehead move by another dumb studio, Fox has now requested that its distributors not sell movies to Redbox until at least 30 days after their release. This comes after Universal put a similar restriction on Redbox last year, and Redbox sued them. Fox is also expecting a lawsuit in response to this position.

Does Fox know something we don’t? Is Universal about to win the lawsuit and so Fox decided to make an early strike? Who knows for sure, but it certainly seems like a bad move to me and another blow to consumers in a difficult economy.

Listen, I get that movie studios are trying to protect their revenue stream here, but I think they are going about it the wrong way. Why not come up with a solution that does not continue to irritate consumers? Or, at least be fair across the board.

It seems to me a better way to protect their revenues would be to allow the sale of their movies before *anyone* is allowed to rent them, say for 14 days. This way, the people who just can’t wait to watch the latest movies can buy them early, or just wait a few weeks until rentals become available. is there something wrong with this strategy? Would that not solve the studios problem?

Sure, this sounds a lot like what they are requesting here, but it is for a shorter time and doesn’t target only kiosk operators like Redbox. No matter what, it is high-time for studios to come up with a distribution model that goes with the times and doesn’t punish consumers and kiosk operators.

What do you think? Any other ideas on how the studios could handle this and still make money?

[via WSJ]

44 Responses to “Fox Hates You, Says “No” to Redbox Rentals for 30 Days”

  1. Member [Join Now]

    It’s called negotiation strategy

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike [visitor]

    The music industry tried to kill online sales and it lead to widespread piracy. The movie industry is going down the same road.

  3. Member [Join Now]
    HandymanBob [handymanbob]

    I find it harder and harder to find a movie worth renting at Redbox and it must be due to the restrictions you are under. I think they are trying to run you out of business. Good luck!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      rb [visitor]

      Agree…the selection at Redbox has been poor. Not sure if it’s because of the restrictions put on Redbox or because the movies being put out are just poor quality due to terrible movie scripts. You have quality actors/actresses who want to remain big screen stars accepting movie roles/scripts that just suck. Recent examples: Cuba Gooding in The Devil’s Tomb, or Sharon Stone in Streets of Blood. If quality movies were being put out, and the 14 day wait before being able to rent was effective, anxious movie consumers probably would be buying the dvds immediately before waiting the 14 days to rent.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Rich [visitor]

      Ya know, it could be that the reason that you are having trouble finding a decent movie to watch at Redbox is because most of them just stink nowadays. :)

  4. Member [Join Now]

    I don’t think the problem is Fox, it is with all of them. Stop trying to drain every last penny from anyone and everyone. Give us DVD’s for cheaper and when you switch formats (i.e. dvd->bluray) help us by letting us either have 2 discs (1 of each) for the same or near same price, or let us do a trade in.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    JDK [visitor]

    While these studios enjoy their stocks selling their movies to companies like redbox yet they have he nerve to complain. I am pretty sure they make a very good profit selling to distributors for these companies vs. selling them at retail alone. With the way the economy is the average buyer can not afford to spend 20+ dollars on a movie but can afford to rent them instead. The studios have to look at that as well.

  6. Member [Join Now]

    Give us DVD’s for cheaper and when you switch formats (i.e. betamax >VHS > dvd->bluray).

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bryan [visitor]

    The title is a little off, though. If it isn’t Redbox’s fault, why would we say “No” to Redbox rentals? Wouldn’t we want to say “No” to all other rentals?

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Phil [visitor]

      I think you may have misread the title. It refers to Fox saying “No” to Redbox rentals – as in “Redbox, you can no longer rent our movies to your customers, who we hate.” ;-)

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jim [visitor]

    It seems to me a better way to protect their revenues would be to allow the sale of their movies before *anyone* is allowed to rent them, say for 14 days. This way, the people who just can’t wait to watch the latest movies can buy them early, or just wait a few weeks until rentals become available. is there something wrong with this strategy? Would that not solve the studios problem?

    Most of the Independent Video Rentailers that have remained in business buy their rental copies at retail anyway. It would give them a 14 day head start on all the Big Chain rentailers, who buy their dvd’s directly from the studios.

  9. Member [Join Now]

    A 30-day wait for Fox movies? If the studios keep doing this, and one studio after another jumps aboard, RB will be gone quick.

  10. Member [Join Now]

    Here are a list of upcoming “Summer Blockbusters” that will most likely be effected by the 30-day wait period from Fox, if it starts immediately:
    (500) DAYS OF SUMMER

  11. Member [Join Now]

    If they target one company that rents movies, it should be considered an unfair trade practice. If no companies are allowed to rent for ‘x’ number of days, then it should be acceptable. Never have been a supporter of exclusive rental rights to movies. If you don’t have access to that exclusive rental retailer, you are locked out of renting a particular movie. (or don’t care to pay inflated rental rates)
    Some of the studios problems with revenue are brought on by their own actions. They need to stop using a tired excuse that piracy is the sole reason for revenue shortfalls. Quality, availability, and pricing need reviewed.

    In another thought, if they wait 30 days to allow someone to rent the movie, the potential renter may just forget what movie they were wanting to rent. That happens to me far to often. Maybe it is just due to old age.
    Won’t that cut further into the revenue streams?

    Hmmm, now what was it I was going to do now???

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      JA [visitor]

      It’s not a question of choosing to prevent all rentals or not – it’s not up to the studios, its about the law. Rental companies buy movies just like you or I do – or more precisely like stores do (i.e. in much bigger quantities directly from distributors). They can rent them because they have the right to based on something called the first-sale doctrine which is about much more than how much you have to pay to see the next crappy TV show rehash — it is a very complex topic that turns on the very question of what it means to own something… and what rights you have once you do.

      Without the first-sale doctrine, car companies could dictate whether you are allowed to sell your car used once you are done with it(they’d rather you didn’t), booksellers could disallow giving your book to friend to read (sound familiar music lovers?) and so on (think: houses, computer hardware, etc).

      In other words, Redbox is being attacked because they provide a crucial economic service: they push down the cost and so increase the benefit of watching a movie. Universal (and now Fox’s) hope is that we will be fickle and go back to Blockbuster and thus force Redbox to raise their prices or otherwise cut a deal that will mean more cost for us, and undermine one of our fundamental property rights in the process.

      Boycott both of them (except via Redbox)!

      On the other hand, Sony just announced a “copy-depth” deal with Redbox. This is very different (and how Blockbuster et al can promise in stock on new movies). Basically, they offer the rental company all the copies they want for a better deal than buying them (or for a percentage of the rentals) in exchange for agreeing not to resell them after they are done with them (generally the DVD’s bought by rental companies get dumped back into the secondary used market). Still not ideal for those who want to own the movie cheap, but if you just want to watch it for a buck, this is great: More copies available for rent — and what Universal and Fox should be doing if they weren’t arrogantly convinced that we would all switch to buying movies if we couldn’t rent them (which is what I think is really going on here, not some grand strategy by these guys).

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        pissandvinegar [visitor]

        You hit it right on the head JA and if you guys think redbox wont figure out how to have foxs movies in their machine you are crazy. I rented Fast and Furious 2 days after it came out at my redbox

        • Visitor [Join Now]
          Quickeyepi [visitor]

          RedBox will have Fox movies in Kiosk when they are released as they do when Universal releases a movie such as “Fast and Furious “

  12. Member [Join Now]
    Mark [rb123456789]

    Fox was also the first studio to introduce “rental only” versions, where you need to buy the DVD to see the alternate commentaries and other special features. They are actively looking for solutions rather than sticking their head in the sand, which at least is better than the music industry 10 years ago. Of course we the public won’t always like those solutions.

    I doubt the studios want to eliminate rental entirely, they make good money when Blockbuster buys a whole shelf’s worth of a DVD to rent. The kiosks are a special situation, which hurts the studios a lot more. Under the “first sale doctrine” the studios can not prohibit rentals entirely, they can only prohibit their distributors from selling for rental (assuming Redbox’s suit fails).

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      JA [visitor]

      Universal is attaching post-sale conditions to the sale of its product (if you sell this to them, we will no longer sell to you). If there’s any justice, the suit will not fail.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      JA [visitor]

      Now the rental-only version is fine – assuming they didn’t try dictate that Redbox had to buy that copy versus the full one and instead used appropriate pricing to make it the right decision for Redbox (i.e. drop the cost of this lesser products accordingly).

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    pat [visitor]

    With Redbox we have a good thing going here and I’d hate to see it go away. Tell the movie studios to stop complaining and start making quality movies…then they might have a more credible arguement. A buck is pretty much what the crap Hollywood turns is worth. I love Redbox.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    meh [visitor]

    JA – Very interesting info, thanks! But for all of us here… is the 30 day offset release (Universal/Fox) for Redbox rentals really an issue if for some reason the courts side against Redbox? We didn’t see the movie in the theater so we’re already waiting for the DVD release. Is waiting another 30 days really that big of a deal? I, for one, am happy to wait a few more weeks in order to support Redbox, a very innovative business who decided to cut out the fat and perpetually increasing expense of renting DVDs, and instead pass the savings on to us!

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bob [visitor]

    Fox could hire Redbox to reconfigure it’s kiosk in such a manner that there would be a section for just released movies for a $3.00 per night rental charge. So for those movie buffs who just can’t wait the extra two weeks (according to your model) they could opt for the more expensive rental but instant gratification. Everything else would still remain the same (meaning we could still have our $1.00 per night rentals, for those who can wait).

    In this way, Fox gets paid and dosen’t have to penalize Redbox and or the kiosk consumer, the consumer get’s the instant gratification (relatively speaking of course) and perhaps Redbox could get a lil peice of that $3.00 action and everybody’s happy!

    Oh and just so you know, I’m a $1.00 per night rental man (Aum jus saying!)

  16. Member [Join Now]

    Redbox should just clear out walmart stores and put the dvds in the kiosks at walmart.

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ben [visitor]

    Fox doesn’t owe Redbox anything. And Redbox doesn’t owe ME anything either, no matter how dire my financial situation might be. Why does everyone think they are owed cheap movie rentals?

    Shame on Redbox for using the economy to make their argument. Fox is in business to make money and last time I checked, so is Redbox. So why is Redbox trying to make itself out to be some humanitarian movie rental charity for the financially challenged? Crybaby companies like Redbox make me sick.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      sam [visitor]

      Thank you! I was getting sick of all the cry babies and their tales of “poor me”.

      I like a good deal when ever I can get one, but I also buy based on value. If the price is 1, 3, 8, or 16 (movie theater costs) dollors I will pay it if I feel Im getting value for my money. If I don’t feel Im getting value I don’t buy. If any company is charging a price that people don’t want to pay they will either learn from it and change the price or go out of business.

      If redbox wants to stay profitable, they will, reguardless of what the courts do. And If I were fox I would do whats in the best interest for the company. Or is getting a movie rental for a $1 more important than the jobs Fox and the movie industry creates.

      You stupid liberals. Nothing you care about makes any sense! You will probley fight to the death to keep your movies renting for a dollor all the while your paying twice as much for a hybrid car and 4 times as much as you should for Gas.

      Get a life!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      JA [visitor]

      Ben, what are you smoking? Redbox isn’t using the economy to make their argument, they making a business: They are buying movies at the same prices and from the same sources as everyone else and using good old fashioned hard work, good technology and the free market (liberal concepts, since when????) to drive down the cost – and because they are doing such a good job, the studios are left with the desperate plan to use their size to disembowel copyright law that’s over 100 years old in order to protect their price-fixed, antiquated business model.

      The only thing Redbox is doing wrong is that they are doing too good of a job of not paying off any of your typical leeches: No big corp markups, no union bloat, no tariff bloat, no offshoring, no monopolies, no lobbyists, nothing but hard working people all over the US making something that cost them 10 – 20 dollars a pop available to their customers for a buck a night.

      I have an idea: Why don’t *you* and Sam quit whining and go find a real argument — what Redbox is doing is as free market and American as Mom selling apple pie at a freakin’ bake sale outside a baseball game.

  18. Member [Join Now]

    It seems like that if the major movie studios dont make 90 cents on the dollar they dont want nothing to do with it!!! Stop paying actors 1 million plus to make the movies and all the bells and whistles then maybe The companys like Redbox can continue to give us reasonable entertainment We can enjoy!!!!Thank You Redbox I,m with you until until the wheels fall off!!!!! Good luck,Steve.

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    Movie King [visitor]

    Sales only for 14 days, then you can rent? Sounds dopey & naive. No movie company will sign on for it.

  20. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jim [visitor]

    I go back to the VHS and beta rental days. I remembered I waited 2 years until the first “Die Hard” came off the new release rack for $5 to the old movie rack for a buck. It was not that I could not afford it, I just did not feel like giving the retailer and extra $4. Multiply that by the number of DVDs I rent and I saved a fortune since then. So, the 14 day thing does not bother me one bit. I say let the free market take care of the problem. Cheaper rentals equals more rentals. Higher rentals means fewer rentals. I too have a hard time finding anything I want to rent at Red Box. It pays not to jump on every new title that comes out. Some are really just hype with one good face doing a cameo. Jolee had 5 films out in one year. The movies were OK and she was on the screen for only a few moments. But the advertisements made the movies look like they were each another “Tomb Raider.”

  21. Member [Join Now]

    all you studios “quit crying’! don’t you have enough money to line youre pocket’s.

  22. Member [Join Now]
    Dayna Sue [dayna-sue]

    So what is next? Restrictions on which theatres will have to wait to play a new movie because their tickets are cheaper? As long as human nature is involved, greed will always find a way in the back door. There is a TV channel called THIS, here in Nevada, that plays all movies and more,(old movies), but it’s free. I just feel good to know someone is out there adding to quality of life by sharing some of their business fortune, while still making a fortune. Dont change too drastically Redbox from the place you started at, and thanks!

  23. Member [Join Now]
    Doodlebug [doodlebug]

    As I read thru the Blogs and was start forming what I want to say then I read Starvos – that was said well. Movie Studios – stop the ridiculous high salaries. Our economy is out of control due to greed. Paula Abdula (or whatever her name is) can now be Exhibit #1 along with the all the other demanding “stars” – Simon and Julia Roberts, – entertainment salaries are way out of line. All the baseball, football, & basket ball players Exhibit #2. Our nation needs to get a hold of it self and have a more equiable method of determining the worth of a person’s work. But it will not happen because of Greed & Power. Govt can not help because of G&P. Gvt would only add to the problem. {Present leaders of nation’s capitol starting big-time with the White House & his female buddy Pelosi.

  24. Member [Join Now]

    I only rent from Redbox – it’s the most convenient and inexpensive way to see movies. Typically, I will not purchase a movie that I haven’t seen, so this idea is kinda biting-the-hand if you ask me. I have rented plenty of movies that I had never heard of from Redbox, liked them, and subsequently bought the DVD. I think this whole scam should be trashed. It’s just plain nuts!

  25. Visitor [Join Now]
    littleamazon [visitor]

    If I really want to watch a movie, I go to the movie theater or the drive in but I am very selective on what I choose (no popcorn and soda for me, just the movie at matinee price). I think that lately movie quality has been poor and that affects the selections available at Redbox or any kiosk.

    I don’t buy movies as much anymore due to cost and needing more space to store them once I buy them. I think that Fox’s and other companies’ move against Redbox and the like will only affect them the more. I don’t think that they are considering how their income will be affected restraining this market.

    I see a lot of arrogance and greed in their actions.

    I don’t mind the 14 day wait period to rent and think it is a better idea than 30 days. In this difficult financial times, people are willing to wait to save money. This might be a pattern of behavior that continues even after the recession.

  26. Visitor [Join Now]
    paul lapke [visitor]

    fox mean to us

  27. Visitor [Join Now]
    Chefbpk41 [visitor]

    With the crap these studios are doing to Red Box people are starting to by
    boot legs for these films and they are losing much more. At least red box is paying a decent price for these disc’s And the bootlegs are most of the time screeners copies and out way before the movie hits theaters what are they saving!!!

  28. Visitor [Join Now]
    loveredbox [visitor]

    Another stupid move by FOX. Who would want to pay 30times more for a worthless movie when it’s available for a dollar at redbox? Having more redbox kinosk will be another good use of our bail out money. At least this will be one good thing from tax payers money to tax payers who are cautious about their spending than paying huge bonus for FOX executives who are either way going to file bankruptcy by the time I’m ready for my retirement! Long live Redbox!

  29. Visitor [Join Now]
    FalconFour [visitor]

    Hey, Stupios-… er, Studios.

    People want to give you money via Redbox.

    Shut the HELL up and take the damn money!

    As has been said before… you’re running out of feet to shoot… come on, stop smoking that smack and stop killing brain cells. Dear god…

  30. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tim Delaney [visitor]

    Hi everybody. I have some news that I think all of your bloggers will appreciate. My company has developed a technology that the consumers love, the retailers love, and even the studios love. Since our system cannot be hacked and the studios will make their money on every rental or sale, you will soon see that our technology is going to replace a lot of the rental options you have. To put it in a nutshell, you will be able to rent or purchase movies, music, video games, ringtones, magazines, etc., at a very low price and at locations more convenient than Redbox. You will simply be able to download your chosen content onto a USB flashstick or your SD Micro card (memory card in your cellphone). You will then be able to play the movie back on your cellphone, pc, netbook, pda, or your tv. Best part of our system, you will not have to return anything as the file will simply disappear when your rental period expires. Bottom line, our technology will put a huge dent into NetFlix, Redbox, and every movie rental retail store. You the consumer will have much more control, it’s much more convenient, and you never have to return a thing.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      JJJ [visitor]

      “our system cannot be hacked” HAHAHAHAHAHA!
      Then do this, put the detailed, complete, and I mean complete, technical specs on the web and let the “hackers” go for it and then see how well it stands up.
      If you are going to let it write to screen memory, what prevents someone from simulating a screen in software and pick the data up that way? Does your device contain a Terminator movie like AI and can tell that you are trying to trick it?
      People are going to be downloading movies from home soon, there will be no need to waste gas driving somewhere to go fill up a USB drive.
      What the F-ing hell were you thinking when you came up with this brilliant idea?

  31. Visitor [Join Now]
    ssusan [visitor]

    i think when someone is very creative and successful there will always be people trying to thwart their success . keep up the good work you are the best*******