There's a growing problem among discount video services like Redbox and Netflix - the lack of availability of blockbuster new releases. Disney recently joined fellow studios like 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros in delaying its movies to the rental services. The thought process here is that studios can make more money on actual DVD and Blu-ray sales to consumers.
If they have to wait 28 days before they can just run out to Redbox or get a copy in the mail, some fans of the movie may go out to the store and buy the physical disc, which provides significantly more revenue to the studio than a $1 rental. Studios are also happy if you pay $5 or so to get a digital rental of the movie. It's going to be a constant problem for Netflix and Redbox.
Disney seemed like it didn't have a problem, because lots of consumers still buy its movies as gifts or for their children, or because they like having a physical item for their movie collection. But it is branching out to other movies that appeal more to the digital crowd. The perfect example of this is John Carter, which was a flop at the box office, but with its second life in the home video market, there is a chance it might now find a new fan base. But Netflix is fighting back - it still wants to offer John Cartner and other Disney flicks ASAP so it is actually buying bulk copies of the movie from retailers. So even though John Carter just came out, Netflix subscribers can get a copy in the mail.
[via Mercury News]