We consumers win when business competes for our dollar. Time has a fascinating look at the Hollywood movie industry makes its money these days — even on a flop like “John Carter,” which tanked at the box office. Turns out there’s a cat and mouse game being played over DVDs and it revolves around the maker’s desire to sell them to the public, but the rental industry’s desire to rent them for $1.
“John Carter” is the first major movie released on DVD that Disney is refusing to sell to Redbox or Netflix on the day it goes on sale to the public. Instead, Disney—which has yet to come to an agreement with Netflix and Redbox along the lines of Warner Bros. and Universal—has instituted its own 28-day rule, in which it’ll sell its movies to rental outfits only after four weeks of sales have passed.
As Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times have reported, though, Redbox and Netflix aren’t playing along with the embargo. The rental operators have simply been buying copies of “John Carter”—which went on sale starting June 5, and is now priced at Walmart for $17.99—from retailers just like any consumer, and then renting them on to their customers. “John Carter” DVDs will bestocked at Redbox kiosks by June 12. Some Netflix customers have already received “John Carter” DVDs in the mail.
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