Battle of the Box Office Bandits

3 Nov

We last left our aging hero in the gutter, abandoned by  fans for a new-wave of rental providers–providers that were swifter, more convenient and less expensive. Dismayed by the new arrivals, Blockbuster seemed unable to adjust to the New World Order: Anchored to its old model of renting, the company quickly sank into oblivion. This holiday season, however, things are turning around.

Filing for bankruptcy hallmarks Blockbuster’s unlikely rebirth.  After receiving $125 billion in financing from a U.S. bankruptcy court, the company announced mass hirings for the holiday season.   Things must be looking up.  Company focus is rightly on adding value in ways a vending machine and mailbox service simply cannot. They’ve rolled out a series of gifts for the holiday season including the yummy addition of chocolate-covered fortune cookies with famous movie quotes inside.

For the rental release of Toy Story 3, the company is hosting “after-school events” for children.

I love this.  And think the company should do more value-added programming.  Make driving to the local Blockbuster store worthwhile. Make every visit an experience worth driving for.  Focus on being the high-end of the rental market. One where media junkies must go to get their weekly fix. Feed the need for movies and gaming by offering more events, like a gaming event for the release of a much-anticipated video game or a theme-store release of a hit box office movie.

And make use of the movies in stock. Host a Casa Blanca night where goodies are offered for trivia and food is provided.   Near Halloween, host a movie night weekly leading up to the scariest thriller, rated by members, of course.  Screen holiday movies like Home Alone and Miracle on 34th Street that people of all ages would love to see. Add value to the purchase of Blockbuster membership through such events. It’s an investment, yes. But it will definitely drive people back into its doors. And while they’re there, they’ll to pick up a movie or two.

As far as the kiosks and online rental services go, continue it. Make renting convenient for those simply who don’t have time to go in-store for the latest movies and games.  

 It is now simply a requirement for competing in the rental landscape.  But the majority of its efforts should be on what it has that Netflix and Redbox do not: A surrounding community of movie lovers eager for an excuse to get together.  Movie buffs that would love things trivia competitions for prizes and movie memorabilia.  Tap into that market and they’ll reward the company with their wallets and loyalty.

Until next time.


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