Par pacts for Redbox plan

Kiosk co. to rent studio DVDs, Blu-Ray the day they hit market

Paramount Home Entertainment and Redbox have announced a joint licensing agreement that will make Par titles available in kiosks at the same time DVD and Blu-rays are released in stores.

The decision comes after a 10-month trial period where Par analyzed DVD sell-through and rental performances, which Par’s worldwide prexy of home entertainment Dennis Maguire said “has had minimal impact on our DVD sales.”

“By granting Redbox day-and-date availability, we are allowing the consumer a choice of how to consume our movies while maximizing the profitability of our releases in the home entertainment window,” he said.

Since extending the December trial period, Par said it has seen higher DVD sales for titles also available in kiosks for last year’s fourth-quarter pics like “Star Trek” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” as well as “The Lovely Bones” and “Up in the Air.”

Redbox prexy Mitch Lowe said the company will continue renting Par titles (including Blu-ray) at 22,000 kiosk locations “by putting affordable entertainment in front of people.”

Par’s pact, which runs through the end of 2011, reps a departure from Redbox deals with Universal, Warners and Fox, which require Redbox to wait 28 days until after titles hit DVD shelves before making rentals available. As part of those agreements, Redbox receives a discount from studios meant to offset lower demand for titles after the initial DVD release date.

Along with Par, Redbox has inked day-and-date agreements with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Lionsgate, as well as Summit and Anchor Bay. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment allowed the company day-and-date rental of “Alice in Wonderland” when it bowed on DVD earlier this month.

As part of the deal, Redbox will destroy all product once it reaches the end of its homevid run, which Maguire said limits loss in revenues from previously-viewed sales.

“Ultimately, we didn’t see the cannibalization of new DVD sales,” Maguire noted. “We feel we’re staying in step with how people want to watch their movies.”

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