Redbox adds Blu-ray rentals

Company to start stocking discs

Redbox is giving Blu-ray rentals a green light.

The company, which rents movies for $1 a day through its thousands of kiosks across the country, said it will start stocking Blu-ray discs in its boxes and make the movies available for $1.50 per night.

The Book of Eli,” “Bounty Hunter,” “Brooklyn’s Finest” and “Green Zone” are among the first Blu-ray titles Redbox will offer, with the number of films and copies varying per kiosk.

Redbox had been talking about such plans for some time, seeking a way to attract a different kind of consumer and increase the amount of revenue its machines can generate for the company.

It couldn’t start charging more for titles unless they were higher quality, the company said. Expansion to Blu-ray is just the latest move expected from Redbox, which also plans to introduce digital downloads or a streaming service in the future.

Redbox couldn’t proceed with the rollout of new offerings until it wrapped up a series of legal disputes with various studios, including Warner Bros., Fox and Universal. Agreements call for Redbox to wait until a film has been available on homevideo for 28 days before it can stock those pics in its kiosks. The Blu-rays offered fit that waiting period.

Rival rental service Netflix had already been offering Blu-rays through its mail service and HD movies for streaming.

Redbox will supply Blu-ray discs to 13,300 of its kiosks nationwide and plans to make them available to its complete network of 23,000 machines by the fall. Each kiosk holds 630 discs.

“Offering Blu-ray rentals is an exciting opportunity for redbox to expand our product offerings and build on the relationships that we’ve established with millions of consumers nationwide,” Redbox president Mitch Lowe said.

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