Sunday, November 19, 2006

Way to piss off a legion of movielovers

The Weinsteins made a deal with Blockbuster Friday. A bad deal. Bad for us, anyway. Starting Jan. 1, all Weinstein Co. films will be rentable only via Blockbuster stores and their mail-rental service. The great appeal of Netflix -- which I assume is infinitely more popular than Blockbuster's equivalent -- is that you can get any movie. Not anymore. Not until 2010, at least. From the press release:

In exchange for exclusivity, Blockbuster will pay TWC a minimum guarantee, determined by box office performance, for each theatrical picture, and based on the acquisition or production costs for each DTV title. ... Blockbuster plans to showcase the TWC movies in special sections in its stores and online. It will also offer customers the TWC movies under its in-store guaranteed availability program, which guarantees customers that select movies will be in-stock or they get a “rain-check” free rental coupon for that movie. Blockbuster also plans to share general trending information with TWC, such as the types of movies and actors the Blockbuster consumer would like to see more of, which could provide valuable insights for future film projects.

This is horrifying and annoying. It's like the movie rental industry has gone fascist. Doesn't this tread on anti-trust laws? If not, it should. I'm certainly not starting a Blockbuster membership in addition to Netflix. So I guess it's Splitsville for me and the mishpuka Weinsteins, even though they are distributing the year's best film thusfar.

10 comments:

RMM said...

What films are Weinstein Co. films?

J.J. said...

Bobby, School for Scoundrels, Shut Up & Sing, Grindhouse, The Nany Diaries, Arthur & the Invisibles, The Protector, Derailed, Lucky Number Slevin, Transamerica, Wolf Creek, Scary Movie 4, Hoodwinked, The Matador, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Clerks II, Breaking & Entering, Factory Girl, Sin City 2.

Not the most prestigious bunch (at least compared to Miramax), but the company is only a year old. The annoyance will compound as they start releasing more attractive stuff.

Mimi the poor said...

Will this deal change the selection at libraries, where I "rent" my movies?

J.J. said...

That is a great question. Perhaps not, since renting movies from libraries doesn't cost anything. Dunno.

Alanna said...

I love to see the goyim correctly using Yiddish phrases.

Your next task: incorporate the word "mishegas" into a post.

wharman said...

That is maddening. Is Blockbuster making a move to dominate? I had a free rental and was in there the other day. They tried their best to sell me the Blockbuster service, claiming its superiority over Netflix.

I don't know about monopoly laws, but it is a sort of jarring notion that Blockbuster sees the need to go back to proprietary services. Two steps forward, one step back.

Middento said...

Maybe this is a ploy to ensure we watch all of their movies in the theaters?

Then again, on the list you provide, there's a grand total of two that I'm interested in. Ho-hum.

Kamikaze Camel said...

It is pretty silly. Will all Weinstein movies already on DVD (such as Wolf Creek and The Matador and Transamerica etc) be taken off the shelves?

"I'm certainly not starting a Blockbuster membership in addition to Netflix."

Do you mean a membership to the Blockbuster dvd service or just a membership at blockbuster. Cause a normal membership is free isn't it?

J.J. said...

I mean the DVD service. I do have a Blockbuster card, but I don't think I've been to a physical store in a year and a half (since I started Netflix).

JMR: And you're right -- the Weinstein's catalog so far isn't that desirable. But the great appeal of Netflix is that you can get ANY movie that's on DVD.

millie said...

boo weinsteins. as if they weren't rich enough. it just BLOWS.