Blockbuster just cut a deal that allows the struggling video rental giant to loan out Warner Bros.’ movies 28 days before they’re available via competitors Netflix and Redbox.
Based on contracts they signed with Warner Bros., both Netflix and Redbox must wait four weeks after the company’s DVDs go on sale before they can rent the movies to customers. The period is the movie company’s way of buying time—hoping that consumers will be more apt to buy the DVDs because they can’t rent them right away.
Now, there’s another option: renting via Blockbuster. Warner Bros. DVDs will be available in Blockbuster stores and via its mail-order service starting the same day the DVD goes on sale—including today’s big release, The Blind Side.
The agreement gives Blockbuster an obvious leg up on Netflix, but less so with $1-a-day DVD kiosk operator Redbox—because Blockbuster’s own $1 rental kiosks will continue to be limited by the 28-day Warner Bros. delay.