In a surprising move, Warner Bros. has lifted the 28-day delay on new releases for brick-and-mortar video rental stores, effective October 30. The embargo is still in place for Netflix subscribers and Redbox users.
The studio first imposed the delay last year with such titles as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 and Crazy, Stupid, Love. The delay was first enforced to emphasize packaged DVD and Blu-ray sales instead of subscription-based services. Ironically, the studio announced in January it doubled the delay for Netflix and Redbox from 28 days to 56 days.
Ted Engen, president of the Video Buyers Group, had this to say about the news.
"Maybe they too understand that distribution is pretty fragile right now. [Warner] needs video stores just as much as we do."
We'll have to wait and see if other studio's follow suit and drop their embargoes with home video stores.