Fox Pulls Out & Loses a Buck

What was the last movie that you saw?  Was it any good?  Did you enjoy the plot?  Or maybe you enjoyed the special effects?  Or maybe the characters?  Regardless, even if the movie was not that great, you still had to find some sort of appreciation for the film.  Recent box office thrillers such as Transformers 2, Terminator: Salvation, and Public Enemies studios are dumping thousands, sometimes millions, into producing these pictures.  They hire the biggest named actors (did you know that Christian Bale was originally to be cast as a different role than John Connor in Terminator: Salvation but later reconsidered as he thought this film would expand his chances on future films) and the industries best special effects engineers to create high definition explosions of genius and put them into an $8 (or $upwards of $15 depending on where you live) ticket.

So when you can get that same action packed thrill ride for $1 (or free if you live dangerous and believe in file sharing and downloading) you tend to raise an eyebrow.  Since the introduction of of Redbox, which is a subsidiary of Coinstar, folks can walk into a Marsh, or cruise through the drive-thru at your local McDonald’s, swipe a piece of plastic, and take a movie home for a buck a night.  You are then charge a second dollar the next night, and so on for a total of a month before you can simply keep the movie.  (The way that I benefit from Redbox is by either spontaneous rentals or when there is something coming out that I know that I want to see.  For a buck a night it is worth every penny.)

But not everyone sees Redbox as a great idea.  Kroger, for example, fought off the Redbox craze (and it has only been getting popular over the last couple of years which is partly due to our economy) by introducing their own version of Redbox.  It didn’t have a name, that I can remember, and was the same concept, price, and had the same design at the store front.  They quickly went out of business.  Kroger is not installing Redbox in some of their stores.  Reasons include the speed of Redbox as well as the ability to rent your movies online and then pick them up in a desired Redbox location.  This is also part of the reason why Blockbuster is looking to file bankruptcy by the end of this year.  They will be around for five years, if that.  (They do offer a service similar to Netflix but it is more expensive and the return time is much longer than Netflix.)

The point of my story, though, is some people simply can not grasp the concept of $1 rentals or in home services such as Blockbuster and Netflix.  On Wednesday, August 6th 2009, Fox Studios stated that they will be slowing pulling, and hopefully removing all, films from low cost rental services such as these listed above.  They claim that the main reason for the decrease in DVD sales is due to these services offering much cheaper prices.  With sales declining of upwards of over $13 billion even the big wigs are starting to get worried.  (Think about that number for a moment.  DVD sales, last year, totaled over $12 billion.  That simply blows my mind away.)

*In relation to the previous statement, and DVD sales, do you know how much it costs a movie studio to produce, ship, and sell a DVD?  Granted, you are not taking into consideration the cost of production, the actors, the special effects crew, the food to feed the actors, the lights, the cameras (the action?) etc. but that is not the point.  When you drop $20 on that newest release, and even more if you buy it on Blu-ray, it only cost the studios about 3 cents.

So as these big wig studios sit here and try to figure out how to save dollars, or how to make more, they will piss off those that are contributing in the mean time.  You just need to be lucky that some of us still pay for the movies at all.  We are slowly, but surely, moving into a society that refuses to pay for music, movies, television, and pretty much anything else that you can get online.  Save those dollars, Fox Studios, you never know when you might need them.