Redbox has agreed to a new 28-day DVD window with Warner Bros., which would halt new release titles from appearing in its kiosks for four weeks after they go on sale at retail outlets. The agreement also ends a six-month legal battle with the studio, after Redbox sued Warner Bros. for attempting to inhibit it from obtaining new releases as soon as they came out.
The multiyear agreement goes into effect during the month of March, with Oscar-nominated football tale The Blind Side becoming the first major title to see a delayed release in Redbox kiosks. As part of the deal, Redbox has also agreed to destroy all Warner DVDs after they have gone through their lifecycle in the kiosks, rather than reselling them and further undercutting Warner’s DVD sales. The agreement runs through January 2012.
The agreement follows similar deals that Redbox has struck with Hollywood movie studios over the past year or so. Warner Bros. joins Sony, Disney, Lionsgate and Paramount in agreeing to new release windows with the DVD rental kiosk company. Meanwhile, Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox are still embroiled in legal battles with Redbox.
Even as Hollywood studios strike deals to keep new releases out of Redbox kiosks, some still believe that the kiosk business will undercut overall DVD sales and could potentially destroy the film industry. In one particularly spectacular report late last year, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. claimed that Redbox’s low-cost movie rental will cost the entertainment industry $1 billion in revenue.
Warner Bros. has shown an interest in making nice with DVD rental services in order to protect sales of its new releases. Earlier this year, the studio struck a similar windowing deal with Netflix that will lengthen the wait for Netflix subscribers to get new DVD releases by 28 days, but would add more streaming titles from the studio’s film catalog to Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” streaming service.
Related GigaOM Pro content (subscription required): Redbox Success Means Netflix Should Consider Kiosks