Disney has apparently decided to pursue a new approach to the Blu-ray/DVD release of John Carter — a controversial approach that has not yet been tried. Typically, when a film is released on Blu-ray/DVD, it goes simultaneously to all outlets. With John Carter, Disney appears to be following a “windows” release in which Red Box and Express, to name two, don’t get the film until later – Red Box on June 12 and Express on July
Here is Home Media Magazine’s coverage:
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment appears to have initiated its first-ever rental delay beginning with the June 5 release of sci-fi movie John Carter to Redbox and Blockbuster Express, an analyst said.
According to website OnDVDreleases.com, Redbox won’t have the movie until June 12, while Express (which Redbox acquired from NCR Corp. earlier this year) doesn’t have Carter until July 3 — four weeks after street date.Carter is listed for rent on DVD and Blu-ray Disc (not streaming) at Netflix.
Disney has contemplated embargoing new releases this year, CEO Bob Iger told analysts in a recent fiscal call.
“Unlike other studio relationships, there has not been an official contract between Disney and Redbox,” John Kraft, analyst with D.A. Davidson in Lake Oswego, Ore., wrote in a note. “We don’t believe that has changed. Regardless, we believe John Carter represents the first ‘official’ windowed title.”
Kraft estimates Disney represents 10% or less of Redbox’s rental share. The analyst said that in early 2011 Disney, instead of windowing new releases, raised the pricing for day-and-date new releases, effectively setting pricing tiers, rather than window availability. Presumably this reduced pricing remains intact for delayed titles.
“Importantly, we believe Redbox and Disney are on friendly terms,” Kraft wrote.