Blockbuster

Blockbuster Video

When the Blockbuster was built down the block from my house, it was a game-changer. Not because it was the first store in our city (we’d been renting movies there and elsewhere for a while), but because it made it that much easier to see movies. The indulgent chore had become a quick bike ride or an even quicker car ride with my folks to the brand new strip mall just beyond our neighborhood. The ritual became wandering through the aisles searching for VHS gold before going next door to Marble Slab for ice cream and a frozen juggling show. The time-marches-on appropriateness of that memory isn’t lost on me now as I have two Netflix envelopes and a mile-long queue sitting on my physical and digital shelves receptively, and even though it’s only for nostalgia’s sake, it’s still slightly sad to see the blue and yellow brand go. It’s understandable that not many are mourning now. As a matter of practicality, it’s difficult to keep the dirges and funeral pyre flames bursting this long, and as a matter of principle, Blockbuster is still rightfully viewed as the corporate behemoth that pushed moms and pops out of the temporary entertainment business. The thing is, we didn’t have the luxury of a mom and pop video store where I grew up, so that behemoth was the warm bosom where I convinced my mom to rent The Secret of NIMH 3 times before she broke down and bought it, where I blind-acquired Monty Python’s The […]

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Redbox kiosks have their good points and their bad points. On the one hand, you can’t beat renting newish home video releases for just a buck a night. That price beats any of the brick and mortar video stores and any of the VOD services that are baked into people’s home electronics. But, on the other hand, I kind of see them as the multiplex of the home video industry. By putting brick and mortar video stores out of business while offering a much more limited selection, they’re just reinforcing the idea in the moviegoing public’s mind that there are only two or three huge movies out that are worth paying attention to at any given time, indie and art films be damned. Still, you can’t beat that price, so Redbox’s parent company Coinstar has seen profits grow and their stock prices soar over the past couple of years. And now that things have gone so well, Coinstar is looking to capitalize on that success by making moves to take over the entire home video landscape. Dueling reports on Redbox activity have hit the financial world today, and both could have big impacts on the future of how we watch movies at home.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; we will not go quietly into the night. You are about to read one of the worst internet columns in the history of mankind. No longer consumed by our petty need for legitimately good films, we here at Junkfood Cinema are united by our common interest in the utterly schlocky. First we will examine how the chosen film has earned its freedom from the tyranny of nuance and the oppression of critical measures of quality. We will then triumphantly raise our voices to proclaim what it is about the film that allows it to survive total annihilation and win not only the day, but our hearts as well. Finally, we will pair the film with an appropriately themed snack food item in order to prove that our waistlines will not vanish without a fight. Today we celebrate Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day!

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If you’re the type of old school movie fan that simply must browse a shelf before deciding what you’re going to curl up and watch for the evening, then life just got a whole lot more affordable; as long as there’s still a Blockbuster open in your area. In an effort to lure customers away from the cheaper options of Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster is set to begin offering thousands of their titles for only 99 cents a day, and is lowering prices on new release films as well. And under a new promotion, if you rent one movie priced at $2.99 a day, you will also be able to take home a film of a lesser price for free until July 4. Putting older films at 99 cents a piece will put many of Blockbuster’s prices right in line with heated rival Redbox. Renting new releases for $2.99 still makes Blockbuster the more expensive option on the most sought after films, though. Blockbuster is still relying on exclusive deals that get them new video releases several weeks before the kiosk and mailing services to hold onto a chunk of that audience, but I just don’t know how many people aren’t willing to wait another couple weeks to get the movie cheaper. Especially in today’s entertainment climate where there are a million other things they can just go watch instead. Blockbuster president Michael Kelly said this about their new initiative, “Our customers are seeking a better value, we’ve answered with […]

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You know all of those gift cards that family members got you at Christmas because they knew you loved movies but didn’t quite know what that meant or know you well enough to get you something more personal? The ones they snagged from Blockbuster are now worth 0% of their original value. Or they will be starting Wednesday. And have been for a month apparently. According to the Sun Sentinel (via Hi-Def Digest), the bankruptcy that has rocked Blockbuster down to the core has now taken the gift cards as a victim, which is fairly unsurprising. Businesses use gift cards to inflate revenue anyway (since a healthy percentage go unused or not used to the full potential), and with the financial straits the company finds itself in, gift cards were an expected casualty. So, if you have a blockbuster gift card, use it today or tomorrow or forever hold a worthless piece of plastic. If you see blockbuster gift cards for sale in the future, don’t buy them. If you have movie-loving friends who might have them, spread the word sorry about your bad luck. Correction: We originally got the date wrong, so it turns out that the gift cards are already useless. Our deepest, sincerest apologies to anyone who even still has a blockbuster to shop at.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the ever-changing late night addiction that you just can’t seem to quit, no matter how hard you try. Tonight it features pieces that will make you think, art that will blow your mind, and a minimum amount of talking about Transformers 3 and Doctor Who. That stuff will be back tomorrow, don’t you worry. In the very near future, Stargate Universe will go off the air. And for the first time in 15-years, there are no more planned Stargate projects in the works. It will create a big whole for the fans who have made the sci-fi property one of the most popular since Star Trek. With that in mind, io9 has dispatched a list of 10 lessons about life after cancellation that Stargate can learn from the likes of Trek and Firefly.

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I’m not what anyone could call a financial commentator by any stretch of the imagination, but Blockbuster was a big part of how pretty much all of us saw our movies for a big chunk of our lives, so I’ve been following it’s business woes with some interest lately. Here’s the long and short of it: Their business strategy started failing, bankruptcy was filed, it was decided that they would be auctioned off as a whole rather than dissolved and sold piecemeal, and now that auction has happened. When all was said and done, the big winner of the day was Dish Network. It’s reported that they will be spending $320 million for the acquisition with around $228 million being in cash. The purchase includes more than 1700 stores that are still in existence.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Perhaps the final step in the humiliation of the once monolithic Blockbuster Inc. has been taken. First it was plummeting revenue, then it was filing for bankruptcy, and now the entire company is up for auction. The company’s top four creditors have joined forces to create a limited liability company that has set the initial bid at $290 million. Either another interested party will swoop in and bid more, or if no other bids are placed ownership of the company will go into the hands of its creditors. I think somebody rich should scoop up this and MySpace and start a pop culture museum. Blockbuster was once an unstoppable giant whose franchises swept across the country putting mom and pop video stores out of business left and right by offering a larger selection of new releases, pricing them at a lower point due to the volume they worked in, and streamlining the once arduous rental process with computerized records keeping. Gone were the fragmented, independently owned shops that were often unorganized treasure troves of VHS discoveries. In their place were walls of new releases: hundreds of copies of a small handful of films. Everyone watching the same thing, everyone developing the same limited set of expectations. In my eyes Blockbuster did quite a bit to homogenize the film industry. They put focus entirely on what was new rather than on discovering film history, they supplied far more pan and scan films in lieu of stocking movies with their original aspect […]

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Top5Dunstan

Six years ago, Marcus Dunstan was working at Blockbuster Home Video. Within the past four years, he and writing partner Patrick Melton have become major go-to’s in the horror world. On Friday, his directorial debut opened on 1,325 screens. Today, he shares his Top 5 Films with The Rejects. And now, in his own words…

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bp-blockbusters

After booze and women, the thing Robert Fure loves most are summer blockbusters and if you’ve got something against them, he’s got a few expletives for you.

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Officially Cool - Indiana Jones Week

Come on in and see the coolest DVD display case ever!

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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