Topic: The Weinsteins make a deal with the devil

Blockbuster gets exclusive from Weinsteins
Studios signs four-year deal for theatrical, DVD premiere rental rights
By Susanne Ault 11/15/2006

NOV. 15 | The Weinstein Co. has granted Blockbuster Video exclusive rental rights on the studio’s theatrical and direct-to-DVD titles for the next four years.

Under the pact’s terms, effective Jan. 1, each Weinstein title will be rented only at Blockbuster outlets for a three-year period. In return, Blockbuster will pay TWC an unspecified minimum guarantee based on box-office performance for theatrical titles and on acquisition costs for DVD premieres.

Blockbuster and TWC will share in resulting rental transaction revenue.

Weinstein titles will continue to be widely serviced to sell-through retail channels. Genius Products distributes all Weinstein titles for rental and sale.

“As movie lovers, we have always aimed to produce and acquire films that people will enjoy, so we feel that this agreement is a win-win for [The Weinstein Company], Blockbuster and for consumers, said Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein, co-chairs of TWC. “The unique combination of Blockbuster’s established in-store retail experience with the power of their online subscription service was one of the biggest factors that attracted us to this alliance.�

Online company Netflix has been an industry darling for some time with its innovative rental subscription service. But Blockbuster is considered to have the largest overall share of the rental industry when combining both its bricks-and-mortar and online businesses.

First Weinstein titles to be part of the Blockbuster deal include Nov. 23 theatrical Bobby, starring Anthony Hopkins and Sharon Stone; Billy Bob Thornton-headlined School for Scoundrels; martial arts flick The Protector; Beatrix Potter biopic Mrs. Potter with Renee Zellweger; and Dixie Chicks documentary Shut Up & Sing.

Additionally on deck from the Weinsteins and Genius are Grindhouse, directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, The Nanny Diaries with Scarlett Johansson and CGI family film Arthur and the Invisibles.

Street dates were not detailed.

The Weinstein agreement is the latest in a string of major moves by Blockbuster to boost its company. Earlier this month, the chain launched its Total Access program, which allows online customers to return rented titles to stores or through the mail. The program also helps customers earn free movie rentals.

Also in early November, Blockbuster began testing Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD rentals in about 250 of its corporate stores.

“As evidenced by our recent introduction of Blockbuster Total Access, Blockbuster is always looking for ways to give our customers the products and services they want and can’t find any place else, and this agreement will enable us to do just that,�  Blockbuster CEO and chair John Antiocho said. “Now, as the exclusive rental provider, we’ll be the only place, in-store and online, that can guarantee customers a wide selection of The Weinstein Co. films for rent.�

Blockbuster will highlight its Weinstein DVD coup by displaying titles within in-store and online special sections. All Weinstein titles are guaranteed to be in stock, so if a DVD is not available, consumers earn a rain-check for a free rental of that film.

The chain expects to share consumer rental patterns with the Weinsteins, which the supplier will use toward creating future film projects.

“The Weinsteins are known for their innovation and marketing expertise,�  Antiocho added. “We look forward to leveraging the combined power of our two brands to deliver more entertainment value to our customers.� 

So, this is a "win-win" for consumers?  First they shelve foreign movies for years, oftentimes cutting them and horribly before they release it, if ever.  Now this.  I don't see how taking away our freedom of choice is considered a win for us, the consumer.  And I don't understand exactly how this can be considered "more entertainment value" by the Blockbuster mouthbreather...errr...mouthpiece.  Are they going to offer a discount on rentals?  That would be nice, considering the extremely high cost of renting a movie these days.  It's no wonder that I blind buy so many DVD's, some of which I bought at blockbuster used.  No more.  I refuse now to shop at Blockbuster.  Just as I refuse to see any movie produced and/or distributed by the Weinsteins.  It's a shame...I was really looking forward to Grindhouse. 

Below is the mailing address to the company, just in case you want to write them to express your outrage (I'm guessing/hoping that many of you will share my outrage).  I couldn't find an e-mail address.  I guess they don't want us to be able to easily contact them.  I for one, am going to protest by keeping my wallet closed, though I don't expect anyone else to follow suit. 

The Weinstein Company
c/o Ethan Noble
345 Hudson St. 13th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Edited to fix two errors in their press release.  If there are more errors...I don't really care, let them look as stupid as they are. wink

Last edited by sMart (2006-11-19 09:00:34)

Re: The Weinsteins make a deal with the devil

This seems like a bad idea to me. It seems that you would want to have your movies in as many places as possible.

Re: The Weinsteins make a deal with the devil

You would think so, Greg, but the Weinsteins get a hedge against losses at the box office and of course Blockbuster just benefits period from this.  I'm still very interested in how this is a "win" for consumers.

Re: The Weinsteins make a deal with the devil

this to me seems like a bad deal for the weinsteins. Here in Canada Blockbuster is 2nd rate.

Re: The Weinsteins make a deal with the devil

Personally I've never been a fan of the Weinsteins.. This is just the typical move that they would make. It would do no good to write to them about it.. The deal is signed and the Weinsteins can't back out now.. Deal is done.

Re: The Weinsteins make a deal with the devil

I wonder if this also affects Pay per View?  I was fairly ambivilent until they mentioned Grindhouse but I imagine I will be buying that one anyway.  I think the Win-win, is that Blockbuster wins because it is a blow to Netflix and the Weinsteins win because they are guaranteed a return on a lot of the garbage they pass off as entertainment.

Re: The Weinsteins make a deal with the devil

"so we feel that this agreement is a win-win for [The Weinstein Company], Blockbuster and for consumers"

I can see the win, win for Blockbuster and The Weinsteins, but the above quote from the press release implies that somehow, us the consumers are going to win with this deal as well.  I don't see how that can possibly be.  They're taking away our choices. 

I know that it's too late, and my few dollars won't make any difference to them, but I'm going to mail them anyway, simply to make my displeasure known.  It'll make me feel better.  wink