Rather than Make Better Movies, Hollywood Increases DVD Wait Time for Redbox and Netflix

This is all about collapsing DVD sales, but what the studios refuse to come to terms with is that if their movies didn’t stink, we would purchase more of them. Right now, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is selling plenty of DVD copies. That’s because it’s a terrific film. See how that works? Furthermore, through the Blockbuster Pass, I will still only pay what I would watch through Netflix. So this move makes even less sense.

And now you know why Hollywood hates capitalism.

Anyway, more desperate and counter-productive behavior from an industry increasingly unable to create a product the customers would like to own:

Warner Bros., which was the first to impose a 28-day embargo on the release of DVDs to Netflix, RedBox, and other cheap rental companies, is likely to double that delay this year, according to published reports on Thursday. The studio, which is believed to have taken a big hit on DVD sales in the third quarter, is expected to announce the new delay at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. Universal and 20th Century Fox, which also impose 28-day embargoes on Netflix and Redbox, are also expected to double that time period.

This will fix nothing. Oh, there might be a small bump for pay-per-view and brick-and-mortar Blockbuster, but the real money is in sales, and not only are we losing our passion and the all-important “impulse” to buy new films, we are also getting used to waiting for a longer period of time to see them. And that’s a huge mistake on Hollywood’s part. Sixty days after the release-hype dies down, the movie is released to two of the biggest outlets on the planet. Moreover, this genius move will only hurt sales. That’s how short-sighted and desperate it is.

In reality, all, these panicked studios are doing is conditioning us to wait longer to see their product. In the long-term, this is beyond dumb. The best way to convince us to buy their product is to offer a test drive. One of the reasons fewer people are buying DVDs is because fewer people are going to the movies. So the only other way to convince us to buy a movie is to let us get a look at it for a buck on Redbox.

I simply don’t know a whole lot of people willing to buy a $15.99 film they haven’t seen. At least not these days when chances are better than not that once the credits roll you feel more than a little cheated.

If you make better movies, Hollywood, we will want to own them.


However, if you insist on making us wait to see your product, we’ll find other ways to entertain ourselves. And we will get used to those other ways, which will make what you do less relevant in our lives.