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Could Blockbuster Video Be On Its Way Back?

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Could Blockbuster Video Be On Its Way Back?

(CTN News) – The internet was filled with strange events a few days ago. Blockbuster’s website flickered back to life after years of dormancy.

Occasionally, the wind will blow in the right direction, and you’ll see a brand new landing page with the text “We are working on rewinding your movie.”. This seems like a sign that isn’t quite done with us.

Of course, that’s preposterous, since Blockbuster hasn’t been around for quite some time. Blockbuster dominated the 1990s and early 2000s as a world-conquering behemoth, crushing the necks of smaller independent video stores.

Its glory, however, was short-lived. Custom disintegrated overnight, first as DVD-by-post and then as an unstoppable streamer. It’s a punchline now, a reference to anything too bloated and arrogant to notice disaster looming in the distance. Which leads us to ask: what does this new website do?

Starting with the obvious is a good place to start. When parent company Dish filed a trademark application for a new logo last year, there were similar stirs of excitement, but that turned out to be a marketing tie-in for Netflix’s sitcom Blockbuster, which was canceled after only 10 episodes because it was not very good.

The show is about the hapless staff of the last working Blockbuster branch.

As early as last year, Blockbuster filed another trademark application for a cryptocurrency and NFT marketplace. Another terrible idea. Unfortunately, it did not work out. Maybe realizes by now that it stands to gain nothing by simply cashing in on its name. It must be the right reason if it comes back at all. You must be returning for a full refund.

Blockbuster’s unquenchable thirst for glory is evident from its history. By the turn of the millennium, it was difficult to overstate how accessible the chain was. David Cook, the businessman who founded Blockbuster, loved databases and used them to analyze demographics and tailor stock to individual branches.

Take a look at FleetLogging’s timeline of branches opening in the US alone. The number of branches was just nine in November 1986. There were 99 after a year. Then 351, and then 882 a year later. In January 2005, there were thousands of stores around the world.

Not a surprise. Blockbuster stores had a wider selection of videos to rent than their small-town competitors, as well as cleaner, family-friendly stores – no porn section – and the Coca-Cola branding was ubiquitous. When first arrived on the scene, it seemed like it was here to stay.

If not for its board’s horrible decision-making skills and almighty hubris, it might have been, too. Warner Bros approached with a DVD rental deal that would have split revenue 60-40 in favor of the studio in 1997. Blockbuster rejected it, so the studio dropped its DVD retail prices to undermine the rental industry.

Blockbuster made two even more fatal decisions in 2000. The first thing Blockbuster did was turn down the opportunity to purchase Netflix when it was still a fledgling company.

Enron was the partner it chose instead. The bankruptcy filing of Enron took place within a year. Every day, Netflix sent out a million DVDs within five years. All of a sudden, Blockbuster was a thing of the past.

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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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