Blockbuster was once the mecca of rentals. While indie metropolitan stores may have always reigned supreme in terms of stock and scope, Blockbuster was the "it" locale for the rest of the country. It wasn't so long ago when stores would be packed on a Friday evening as people rushed to grab the new releases, and shelves stocked sure-to-be-there bets -- films that weren't guaranteed because no one was going to the store, but because they'd have huge piles of discs.
Now Blockbuster is a movie ghost town. After the onslaught of Netflix and Redbox, the end has been near for a while. The company has managed to hold on, just barely, but financial types are now expecting the end to come in 2011.
Blockbuster is near the top of 24/7 Wall St's new list of brands expected to disappear by the end of 2011. The company is currently considering Chapter 11, and it lost another $65 million last quarter. 6,000 stores are still left, but 24/7 believes that the only life left in the company is the kiosk/delivery rental methods. "Its brick-and-mortar business is dead."
It just goes to show you how much of any movie business relies on the casual moviegoer, not the eager-to-watch-everything cinephile. I always, and wrongly, thought that video stores would stay around for the increased options, the older films, and the immediacy the system awarded. You wouldn't have to plan a night in with friends, they could just head to the local store with you and decide between the old and the new.
With streaming, members were offered the immediacy mail could never provide, popping the last piece into Blockbuster's death puzzle. Netflix-free Canada might have to wait for Blockbuster's death knell to prod zip.ca to rival the 'flix in title options and streaming, but chances are that in the U.S., most folks won't really feel the impact of Blockbuster's death. All the company can hope for is a nice influx of buyers when all of their dvds hit the 5-for-$20 bin.
I haven't bought anything from them in years, don't have any friends that have either, we use redbox. I will be making the trip the discount bin when its closing time though!! :biggrin: