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Blockbuster Weinstein Enter Exclusive Rental Deal

Blockbuster Weinstein Enter Exclusive Rental Deal

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Blockbuster / Weinstein Company enter into an exclusive rental partnership.

Movie rental company Blockbuster Inc. said on Wednesday November 15th 2006 that it has signed a four year deal giving Blockbuster exclusive U.S. rental rights to films produced by the Weinstein Co., allying itself with the independent movie studio as it battles for a larger market share.

Bob and Harvey Weinstein founded The Weinstein Company in 2005. Prior to The Weinstein co, the Weinstein brothers founded the incredible successful venture of Miramax films; which is one of the most successful film companies in history.

According to the Blockbuster /, Weinstein Co deal, Blockbuster will have exclusive rental rights for Weinstein Co. theatrical releases and direct-to-video films, providing a dedicated in store and internet display for Weinstein company's titles. The privately held Weinstein Co. will also be paid a minimum guarantee by Blockbuster for its movies based on box office performance in the case of theatrical releases and on acquisition or production costs in the case of direct-to-video movies.

Last week, The Weinstein Co. acquired all North American rights to the computer-animated»» French feature called "Piccolo, Saxo and Company," a children's musical story. Marco Villamizar's story follows Piccolo, Saxo and other brass and string instruments that band together to form a glorious symphonic orchestra. The group goes on a quest to find musical notes and other instruments stolen by an malevolence doctor who dreams of building the perfect instrument. The film will be released next month in France. The American version will have new actors to duplicate an English language version for the Weinstein Co. No announcement if the film will debut theatrically or go straight to DVD.

In May of 2006, The Weinstein Company announced at the Cannes Film Festival that they would be launching their video line called Dragon Dynasty where they continued with the statement that Quentin Tarantino will "...actively work with the Weinsteins in all aspects of brand development»» for Dragon Dynasty."

The Weinstein company continued their press release by saying The Weinstein Company "...is developing a number of Special Edition packages for its new brand, including 2-Disc Platinum Editions of Jet Li's world acclaimed Fist of Legend and Tai Chi Master. Each Dragon Dynasty DVD will possess a unique and carefully crafted identity, and will include many groundbreaking, informative and exclusive special bonus»» features"

Earlier this month Blockbuster announced and started advertising»» they're new Total Access Plan. The plan allows their online rental customers to return online rentals to any location based Blockbuster store in exchange for a free in-store rental and a monthly coupon.

Both companies have something to bring to the 4 star table of movie rentals including recent criticism on their marketing and business practices. Netflix (Blockbuster's biggest rival) filed a court complaint in the spring of 2006 against Blockbuster claiming "willfully and deliberately copying Netflix's business methods."

The Asian action movie audience has a devoted sect and loyal fans will indeed purchase re-mastered special edition films. However, they're going to have an uphill public relations battle establishing that that Weinstein company can deliver quality re-mastered video releases without the gaudy promotional art and promoting only big industry names such as Quentin Tarantino.

As for Blockbuster's Total Access Plan... online research shows that (blogs and forums) Blockbuster customers are telling tales not of better & faster service but of slower and patronizing Customer Service.

In order for the Blockbuster / Weinstein company partnership to be an exceptional success, they both will need to impress not only the Independent film and Asian action enthusiasts but the average person who wouldn't normally consider buying international / independent films. Kitschy cover art is no longer good enough. In order to not only lure the loyal audience back but attract new ones, technical quality and the promotional campaign must be awe-inspiring, to the extent that people will say "WOW, what is this? Never heard of it, but it must be something special."

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