In a move that may alienate many consumers, The Weinstein Co. has inked a four-year, exclusive rental deal with Blockbuster. Beginning in January, The Weinstein Co. will not make any of its films available to other rental companies, including Netflix and Movie Gallery.
For Blockbuster, the deal looks like a great opportunity to drive customers back to its store with top exclusive content. For The Weinstein Co., Blockbuster will give its titles prime exposure, special marketing and guaranteed payments, which will be tabulated from a certain percentage of box office receipts. In addition, The Weinstein Co. will be able to promote its fledgling direct-to-video releases, which are well suited for Blockbuster's more family focused audience.
"We are very excited about our alliance with Blockbuster, as we believe it will bring our company increased access to millions of consumers. Blockbuster is an industry leader of in-home entertainment and is highly committed to their customers' experience," said Bob and Harvey Weinstein, co-chairmen of The Weinstein Co. "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 TWC, Blockbuster and for consumers. 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."
"Bob and Harvey Weinstein are legendary producers whose movies have long been customer favorites at Blockbuster," said Blockbuster chairman/ceo John Antioco. "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. 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 available for rent."
As for how the deal affects Weinstein-controlled Genius Products, which handles the company's DVD releases, the move will not affect non-Weinstein releases. For the Weinstein titles, Blockbuster will have a three-year exclusive window.