Warner Home Video has decided to join Team Universal and 20th Century Fox in the fracas over cheap movie rentals via Redbox. Video Business reports that the studio will sell DVDs directly to kiosk companies like Redbox starting in October, but only after 28 days from their initial release.
Warner is also clamping down on wholesalers, prohibiting them from selling to the kiosk or mail-order channel, and forbidding them from buying or selling used Warner discs.
As we wrote yesterday, Redbox’s success with its $1-per-night movie rentals has put it at the center of a battle over the value of movies. Both Universal and Fox are fighting Redbox by imposing disc delays. Redbox has filed suit against both studios and it seems like a pretty safe bet it will file one against Warner, given their actions today.
Not all studios are down on Redbox; both Sony and Lions Gate have signed distribution deals with the company.
Making a PR move of its own, Redbox announced today that it’s on track to rent its half-billionth movie this weekend.