On November 22nd Blockbuster video stores introduced a new tiered rental system. The idea is newer films cost more to rent. Makes sense. Of course leave it to Blockbuster to screw it up. Brand new “Just Arrived” rentals are $4.99 for three days now, same price but reduced rental period from one-week. I’m fine with that, remember that they don’t have a 28-day window with the studios so they get all the new movies on the same day they are available for purchase. “New Release” movies that have been out for six weeks or more are $2.99 for the same three day rental period. That’s the same price as the $1 a night kiosk rentals. This falls fairly closely inline with the 28-day window, the kiosks should by now have all these movies available as well. That’s fine and dandy for new releases (i.e. everything on the walls), but what about catalogue titles?
All the stores in my area have a “99cent Rentals” banner. This leads you to believe that they actually have 99 cent movies. And they do, but only about five to eight per category. That’s why they fall under “Select” in the tiered system. These are of course the worst films ever created and no one would purchase, let alone rent one of these stinkers for 99 cents. I’ve heard their “Kids” section features a lot of 99 centers so maybe this would be worth while if you have children, but again the “Kids” section doesn’t include “Family” movies, it’s more geared toward preschoolers.
Every catalogue title should be 99 cents. That’s such a simple add-on sale. Hell I’d be in those stores constantly, and I’d be more likely to pickup new releases from them instead of waiting for the kiosks. Especially if I knew I could grab a few cheap flicks on the side. As much as this bummed me out after being coaxed in with the promise of inexpensive entertainment, it is a move in the right direction. If only they had taken a few more steps.
What do you think about this new system? Smart choice or rip-off? Or is everyone just using Netflix these days?