If you want to rent the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sherlock Holmes and Poseidon before anyone else, find your way down to the local Blockbuster, because Netflix won’t have them. On Tuesday, the company announced that it has struck a deal with Warner Bros. to rent out the studio’s movies exclusively for the first 28 days following every DVD and Blu-ray release.
“This agreement reinforces Blockbuster’s position as the most convenient source for new movies, and we are pleased to offer our customers the opportunity to get hot new movies as soon as they are released,” said Blockbuster CEO James Keyes. “This gives Blockbuster a full four week lead before either kiosk or other subscription services can offer any Warner Bros. titles.”
Now $856 million in debt from flagging rentals due to competitors like Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster now bills itself as the only “multi-channel” provider of movies: The company offers movies through traditional brick-and-mortar rental stores, by mail, and on-demand through the Web. The company recently warned investors that it may have to file for bankruptcy if efforts to liquidate its debt fail.