Disney has quietly joined Universal, Fox, and Warner Bros in refusing to provide DVDs to low-cost rental firms including Redbox and Netflix on the day the discs go on sale, Home Media Magazine reports. The unannounced change caught people’s attention this week when Redbox kiosks didn’t have Disney’s John Carter, released on home video this past Tuesday. But those waiting for the financial mega-bomb to hit Redbox — so they’d only have to pay $1.20 a night to see what the fuss was about — won’t have to wait long. The company will simply buy discs from retailers so it can offer them for rental by June 12. “Redbox has always worked with Disney on a per title basis, without a contract,” the Coinstar-owned company says. “We will be sourcing John Carter through alternative means.” Redbox began to do the same thing with Warner Bros releases this year after the studio said it would double the delay period to 56 days before it would offer wholesale terms for its rental discs. Redbox has agreed to terms with Universal and Fox that include a 28-day delay. Other studios including Paramount and Lionsgate provide home videos the same day they hit retail shelves. Studios disagree over whether Redbox’s low-cost rentals cannibalize DVD sales, which have been plummeting, or enhance consumer interest in films. Disney CEO Bob Iger told analysts in February that “we are in discussions to go to the 28-day window.” Although he acknowledged that Redbox could buy Disney discs elsewhere, he added that an effort to protect DVD sales “would be a wise thing for us to do.”
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