Fox inks Blockbuster kiosk distribution deal

Blu-Ray, standard DVD rentals to start at $1 a day

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has inked a deal with NCR to supply DVD and Blu-ray titles directly to Blockbuster Express rental kiosks.

The studio will offer up films for rent 28 days after they go on sale in stores, as well as select titles day-and-date as a test in certain markets.

First pic Fox will test is the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz starrer “Knight and Day,” which hits homevideo Nov. 30.

Most titles will rent for $1 a day through the NCR boxes; the price will be higher for newer titles or pics undergoing release tests.

As part of the deal, the two companies may eventually expand into allowing digital downloads of movies through the kiosks.

“This agreement supports our retail and rental strategy,” said Simon Swart, exec VP-general manager, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “We aggressively seek out ways to provide the greatest access to all our content while ensuring it makes the best sense for our business.”

NCR began a major rollout of the blue rental boxes this summer to compete with Redbox and create a new, much-needed revenue stream for Blockbuster, which is in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

NCR licenses the Blockbuster brand from the rental chain. It wants 10,000 kiosks in supermarkets, outside convenience stores and in other locations by the end of the year.

Deal with Fox will enable NCR to go directly to the studio for discs, enabling it to buy more titles at once at a discounted price rather than send out staffers in areas to buy movies from retailers to stock the kiosks.

Each kiosk holds 950 DVDs and will soon enable users to download select movies, as well as music and other forms of entertainment, onto SD cards and flash memory cards.

“We are not just operating DVD kiosks; we are creating an automated entertainment experience that gives consumers flexibility around renting or buying, physical or digital media, premium or standard offers, and other options that we will launch in the future,” said Justin Hotard, VP-general manager, NCR Entertainment.

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