Blockbuster Offers Super-Cheap, One-Day Rentals

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Going into Redbox pricing territory, the newly revamped Blockbuster says thousands of films will now be available on a one-day movie rental basis, priced as low as 99 cents.

The new pricing scheme starts May 27 -- all to take advantage of the big summer movie season. For its newest releases, one-day rental fees are now $2.99, with its slightly older film releases at $1.99. Previously, Blockbuster had had a rental policy of $4.99 for a three-day rental period.

Blockbuster's lower movie DVD rental prices, according to analysts, are to compete with kiosk DVD rental company Redbox, which offers 99 cent one-day rentals.

Blockbuster looks to keep its main advantage to Redbox or Netflix: its inventory of newer movies. Analysts says by charging $2.99 for its newest releases, Blockbuster can maintain what has been its one significant difference to Redbox or Netflix.

Right now, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. all restrict Redbox from renting DVDs until 28 days after they go on sale. Studios say 99 cents is too low a price for a first-night new movie rental. Those studios and Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Studios have similar restrictions for Netflix.

In April, Dish Network completed a deal to acquire Blockbuster Inc. for $320 million, which had been in bankruptcy. Dish said it would close down around two-thirds of Blockbuster stores as an effort to restructure the company.

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