Warner Brothers has stopped supplying discs of its latest releases to Blockbuster after the DVD rental chain refused to agree to a 28-day delay between the films going on sale and their availability to rent.
The move is the first step taken by Warner Bros to stimulate retail sales and make owning film content more appealing to consumers. It will be followed by efforts to expand similar release windows already in place with other movie rental services, such as Netflix and Redbox.
Blockbuster has rejected the Hollywood studio’s request for a 28-day window and has instead bought discs of Horrible Bosses and The Green Lantern on the open market in order to rent them to its customers.
“They felt it was important to continue to offer day and date rental so rather than work with us they went around us,” said Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros Home Entertainment. Blockbuster declined to comment.
“The question is: how do we make ownership more valuable and attractive?” said Tsujihara. “We have started the process of creating a window in bricks-and-mortar DVD and Blu-ray rental.”