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Redbox rebuffs Warner Bros., won't delay rentals for 56 days

The company didn't say why it couldn't strike a deal with Warner, but reassured customers that movie selection won't be affected.

Redbox is no longer partnering with Warner Bros.
Redbox is no longer partnering with Warner Bros. Redbox

The 56-day rental window Warner Bros. has reportedly tried to impose on its partners didn't go over too well with Redbox.

The kiosk-rental company announced yesterday that its contract with Warner Bros. had expired and that it had no intention of entering into a new agreement with the film studio. The company did assure customers that it has other ways of getting access to Warner Bros. movies and TV shows, and that they'll still be available in its kiosks.

"Redbox will continue to provide our consumers with affordable access to new release movies from all major studios including Warner Brothers at our more than 28,000 locations nationwide," Redbox senior vice president of marketing and customer experience said in a statement yesterday. "We will work to provide Warner Brothers' movies through alternative means. Redbox maintains direct working relationships with every other major studio."

Generally, film studios require rental companies to wait 28 days before offering movies on DVD or Blu-Ray. The delay is designed to increase disk sales during the critical first month of availability.

All Things Digital reported last month that Warner Bros. had signed deals with Netflix, Redbox, and Blockbuster that force the companies to wait 56 days before offering the studio's films. Later on that day, the LA Times cited people familiar with the negotiations who said Redbox and Blockbuster had actually told Warner Bros. that they wouldn't accept the offer.

At the Consumer Electronics Show last month, Netflix announced that it had agreed to the extended delay.

The LA Times reported yesterday that the Redbox deal fell through because Warner Bros. wouldn't back down on its demands. By holding firm, Redbox effectively sent a message to other studios who might try to follow Warner Bros.' lead to reconsider such a move--although likely at a cost, given that it's usually more expensive to acquire movies and TV shows from third parties.

Redbox has not immediately responded to CNET's request for comment on the matter.