Avatar release could help Fox, Redbox relationship

The release of Avatar in a couple of weeks could lead to an agreement between 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Redbox, according to analysts, as movie studios continue to find ways to work with the rental kiosk service.

Avatar is scheduled for release on DVD and Blu-ray on Thursday, April 22.

To help generate additional sales, it’s possible the movie studio will work with Redbox and Netflix — but details on the possible working relationships are still unknown.

“We believe that if consumers plan to purchase the ‘ultimate version’ of the DVD this November, they might be less willing to purchase the ‘bare-bones’ version later this month — unless, of course, that version is not available for rental for the first 30 days,” said Eric Wold, Merriman Curhan Ford analyst, in a statement.  ““Without a doubt, Avatar will be the one of the highest grossing DVD/Blu-ray releases during 2010 … and one that Fox would want to monetize most effectively.”

Avatar release could help Fox, Redbox relationship

If Redbox and Netflix are able to work out a deal with 20th Century Fox, then the movie studio will likely end issues with other Fox titles as well.

Redbox has struggled to win over movie studios that have become annoyed with falling DVD sales while the same films hit cheap kiosk rental services.  Warner forced Redbox to allow a 28-day sales window for all new releases (preventing rentals), with other movie studios also expressing interest in a similar deal.

I don’t think forcing Redbox to have a 28-day grace period is a permanent fix, and hope both sides are able to work things out.  I currently purchase new movies at local stores, rent from Redbox, and stream movies through Comcast.  The inability to rent new movies has frustrated me — and I have refused to purchase those movies that I couldn’t rent from Redbox.

Hopefully movie viewers are the ones to win once Avatar is released later this month.