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Blockbuster Express to offer new releases for $3

NCR, operator of Blockbuster Express rental kiosks, plans to offer new Fox and Universal Studios releases in its kiosks for $3 on DVD and $4 on Blu-ray Disc.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
A Blockbuster Express kiosk.
A Blockbuster Express kiosk. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Some BlockBuster Express kiosks will start offering new DVD and Blu-ray releases on the same day they go on sale, reports say.

According to the Dow Jones Newswires, NCR, the owner and operator of BlockBuster Express kiosks, inked the rental deals with Twentieth Century Fox Film and Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The company will be offering films for $2.99 on DVD or $3.99 on Blu-ray discs on the first rental night. The program is rolling out in a handful of test markets, including Atlanta, Miami, and San Francisco.

NCR, which licenses the BlockBuster Express name from the movie rental company, currently rents older titles for $1 for DVD and $2 for Blu-ray.

The Dow Jones report is notable, considering that some film studios have signed deals with other rental companies, including Netflix and Redbox, that require them to wait 28 days before they can offer new releases. NCR had a similar deal in place with Fox and Universal Studios prior to agreeing to the new terms, Dow Jones reported. The company still needs to wait 28 days to offer new releases from other studios.

According to Dow Jones, if the new releases perform well in the test markets, NCR will expand the availability of the films nationally. It hopes to have 10,000 kiosks around the United States by the end of 2010.

However, when it comes to kiosk rentals, it's very much a numbers game. And even with 10,000 kiosks by the end of the year, NCR will still be far behind its main competitor, Redbox. According to that company's Web site, it now has approximately 25,000 kiosks available to consumers.

Redbox currently offers film rentals from a few studios, including Paramount Home Entertainment, on the same day they're released. However, the company must wait 28 days to offer films from Fox and Universal Studios.