Last week’s announcement that Blockbuster would shutter all remaining locations marked the end of an era, so it seems only appropriate that the last-ever Blockbuster rental would also be about the end of an era. Albeit a slightly more explosive one.

According to the company’s official Twitter account, the very last rental to ever leave store shelves was This Is the End, the apocalyptic comedy directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Check out a photo from the bittersweet event and see Rogen’s response after the jump.

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Blockbuster and parent company Dish Network today announced a new streaming service intended as a rival to Netflix. The timing seems perfect, as the public image of Netflix has taken a serious beating in the past six months thanks to price increases, splitting DVD and streaming services, and the choice of ‘Qwikster’ as the name for the new Netflix DVD-by-mail service.

So will the new Blockbuster streaming service, dubbed Blockbuster Movie Pass, be able to quickly move in an execute a Mortal Kombat-style fatality on Netflix? Probably not, because the Movie Pass service will only be available to Dish subscribers for the time being. Read More »

Earlier this month, Dish Network purchased Blockbuster, Inc. to the tune of $320 million (or “$228 million in cash after adjustments for available cash and inventory”) at a bankruptcy court auction for the once-great video rental chain. Blockbuster, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 last fall with nearly $1 billion in debt, much of it to major movie studios.

At the time, we wondered what the satellite television provider’s plans for Blockbuster were. Now, recent documents have made that picture a little bit clearer. Read on after the jump.

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Blockbuster Is For Sale

Briefly: Once the reigning champ of home video retailers, Blockbuster Inc. went into bankruptcy not long ago. Now, as creditors have not been able to agree upon a plan to reorganize the company’s assets, the chain is up for auction. Four creditors (Monarch Alternative Capital, Owl Creek Asset Management, Stonehill Capital Management and Varde Partners) have created Cobalt Video Holdco, LLC in order to begin the sale with a ‘stalking horse’ bid: a $290m offer, which is intended to establish a lower threshold for bids. That collection of creditors could end up owning Blockbuster if no one else bids. Read More »

The few of us who still watch live television know the commercials well. People in the airport, at a restaurant and in dentist’s office, all being told they need to wait 28 days. “Why wait 28 days for new releases? Blockbuster has hot new releases … 28 days before Netflix and Redbox.” Or so they did.

Fast Company is reporting that Blockbuster has buckled and signed deals with Warner Brothers, Universal and 20th Century Fox to get new releases in their kiosks 28 days after the initial DVD release date, just like Redbox and Netflix. This is only in the Blockbuster kiosks, mind you, their stores will continue to get new releases when they’re new. Still, this is yet another blow to the struggling video rental company. More details after the jump. Read More »

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Blockbuster Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

To the surprise of no one who has been paying attention to the current state of the DVD rental business, Blockbuster today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Saddled with a rather large debt, the one-time titan of the rental industry will seek to reorganize and carry on. Read More »

/Filmcast Ep. 114 – The Kids Are All Right


KAAOS_1-Sheet_CS4_v19.inddThis week, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley remember the passing of a too-young talent, discuss the nature of biopics, reflect on the state of the Mission: Impossible series, and share memories of a Blockbuster long gone.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next week on Sunday night at 10 PM EST on Slashfilm’s live page as we review Machete.

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Blockbuster Prepares for Mid-September Bankruptcy


It’s finally happening. After a long, protracted death spiral, Blockbuster Inc. is planning on filing for bankruptcy in mid-September. This isn’t the end of Blockbuster quite yet, as the company hopes the bankruptcy process will only last for five months, but things aren’t looking good. After filing for Chapter 11, the video store company plans on closing hundreds more stores (between 500 and 800) and deploying even more kiosks (it already has 6,000 out in the world). Blockbuster has lost over $1 billion since 2008 and despite renewed efforts by certain concerned shareholders to save the company, the future of the chain is looking more and more like it is kiosk-only.

To quote Gob Bluth, the tears just aren’t coming.
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One Man Has a Plan to Save Blockbuster


One might look at the rise and fall of Blockbuster as a portrait of the hubris of big business in action. The video rental chain dominated the market in the ’90s by having more copies of more titles than smaller stores, and financed the business with late fees and simple brute force.

But the business started to change a few years ago, and the company didn’t change with it. In 2005 Greg Meyer tried to get Blockbuster to install DVD rental kiosks outside stores, so that customers could rent movies even when the store was closed, and so that (as a bonus) the stores could shutter during what were traditionally the slowest operating hours, to save money.

Blockbuster ignored Meyer, Netflix and Redbox soared, and the blue and yellow chain lost market share at an incredible rate. But Meyer bought a significant share of Blockbuster stock, and now wants to save the chain, in part by using the exclusive 28-day exclusive rental window brokered with studios like Warner Bros. Read More »

Blockbuster Releases Official iPhone App


For Netflix users, there are a few very good third-party app solutions available to access the service via the iPhone. (PocketFlicks and iPhlix come to mind.) Now Blockbuster has released an official app for the iPhone and iTouch, which offers solid access to the company’s rental options.

With this app you can quickly see new releases, browse the entire catalog, add films to your delivery queue and check to see what’s in stock at local stores. The design is clean, and if you use Blockbuster as a regular rental service the app might come in very handy.

MovieMarketingMadness makes an interesting point about this app, however. By allowing customers to see if a film is in stock at nearby stores, the company may be keeping those customers out of the store. Without the app a potential renter might go looking for a specific film, find it unavailable and rent something else instead. By checking the app, that same person can tell there’s no reason to head to the store in the first place, and make other plans.

[via Gordon and the Whale]