January 11, 2011

Blockbuster Says 'Fuck It,' Charges $500 Per Rental

Executives at Blockbuster Video, once the nation's largest distributor of the Leprechaun movie franchise, announced Tuesday their plan to finally run themselves out of business once and for all by increasing the cost of movie and video game rentals to $500 per night.

James W. Keyes, Chairman and CEO of Blockbuster Inc., said the company has been considering drastic measures since it filed for bankruptcy in September of 2010.

"We understand that we're no longer relevant as a business," said Keyes at Tuesday's conference. "And we have no delusions about digging ourselves out of the hole we're in. But if we're going down, we're going down with our middle finger in the air and our genitals exposed."

The long, slow decline in business, resulting in $900 million worth of debt, could be considered just another casualty of the current recession. But it's worth noting that the company's biggest losses coincide with the rising popularity of Netflix and Redbox.

The face of considerable debt.
Blockbuster has made several attempts over the past year to remain competitive, recently adopting their own brand of self-sustaining kiosks--which are blue, and therefore much different--and advertising that they stock stock select titles 28 days before Netflix.

A representative from Netflix, while literally wiping his ass with a hundred dollar bill, said "there is no concern about Blockbuster's past or future ploys." Meanwhile, when reached for comment, one Redbox kiosk simply spat out a copy of Inception in exchange for a freaking dollar!

Keyes, along with most of his management team, believes competition was the least of their problems and places the blame squarely on internet piracy.

"We have copies of The Bodyguard that haven't moved off the shelves since early 2004," said a sobbing Keyes. "Now, I hate to jump on the anti-file sharing bandwagon like this, but if Kevin Costner and the incomparable Whitney Houston can't move product, then what excuses are left?"

Before Blockbuster goes the way of Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video, execs are hoping to recoup some of their lost assets with a bold move, upping the cost of nightly rentals by more than 10,000 percent.

"I know for certain that some people would willingly shell out a few Benjamins to watch Matthew McConaughey woo Sarah Jessica Parker," Keyes cackled. "And those people should pay."

At the beginning of February, Blockbuster will launch their new campaign, creating a tiered pricing system in the process. For example, a 3-day rental of a new release will increase from $4.99 to $1,499, while older titles will cost whatever the store clerk decides to make you pay. In conjunction, Blockbuster kiosks will only be stocked with movies directed by Tyler Perry, which will cost you one portion of your soul per night.

Keyes added, "Oh, and game nerds, that new Halo game you've been dying to play? Two grand per night, you pirating assholes!"

The campaign is tentatively titled "Bring Home the Magic For a Stupid Sum of Money, Just Because We Can, You Cheap Motherfuckers."

They still won't charge any late fees, though. So there's that.
David Cook, founder of Blockbuster, says he saw the "Block-pocalypse" coming for years, but chalks it up to personnel issues. "Since day one, we've painstakingly sought out the snobbiest, most socially inept employees we could find," said Cook. "It just caught up with us."

He added, "Also, we don't offer any free movies to watch online. So that's pretty shitty."

Outside a Blockbuster store in Pomroy, Ohio, frequent customer Marty Dellaford explained he would probably continue to rent from the chain even after the new pricing system takes effect.

"I dunno," said Dellaford. "I don't have a computer and those Redbox machines always have lines."


  1. My friend Jessica has a membership and still actively uses it. I don't get it. Their product is inferior to Netflix in every possible way.

  2. Well, they do still have those in-store exchanges going for them. Which explains the .8% of the market share they'll probably retain in 2011.

  3. My only trip to Blockbuster lately was when my Netflix plan limit of 2 at a time left me hanging with season 5 of The Wire incomplete. The Wire was so awesomely awesome, I couldn't wait. I rushed out and got the rest of the episodes - and I was shocked at the price - but, The Wire, after all. My only other faint urge to return, besides a one-time bump in the number of discs I can have at once, is that I kind of like seeing the boxes - and occasionally used to find something good because of the look of the cover. This urge is not strong enough to actually go. If anyone comes up with a plan where I can safely and legally stream all DVDs (not just older or less successful ones or effing documentaries), I will move, but until then, I love Netflix.

  4. Don't they say not to judge a movie by its box? Or is that prostitutes...?

    The Wire is amazing. Good call there, I wouldn't wait for it, either.