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Redbox Says It Will Not Budge on Extending Release Windows

Coinstar Senior Vice President Galen Smith says company's margins have improved because it is renting discs from Warner Bros. sooner

Redbox has drawn a line in the sand. 

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Despite pressure from studios, it will not make renters wait longer for new releases. 

The kiosk chain previously agreed to honor a 28-day delay on when it rents the latest films from certain studios, but when Warner Bros. tried to push that window to 56 days, the company balked. 

At the Morgan Stanley Retail Conference in Boston on Wednesday, Galen Smith, senior vice president of finance for Redbox's parent company Coinstar, said that offering Warner Bros. titles earlier is actually improving profit margins.

He said the company, which is currently buying its discs from third party retailers instead of directly from the studio, will not back down, according to a report in Home Media Magazine

“With Warner, there’s simply a different view of the world, where they want to have this on a longer delay than we think is right for either our business or our consumers," Smith said. 

Redbox currently has agreements with studios like Universal to delay renting new releases by 28 days, but offers movies from other studios like Sony and Paramount on the same day they make their home entertainment debuts. 

It is unlikely that the issue with Warner Bros. will go away anytime soon. Other studios are also expected to pressure Redbox and other movie rental companies to delay renting new releases by longer than 28 days. 

The move is  part of an ongoing effort by the industry to prop up a DVD market that has struggled to keep pace with plunging disc sales and a shift among many consumers to digital streaming and kiosk rentals. 

Smith said Wednesday that although the company wants to make friends in Hollywood, it needs to focus on its bottom line. 

“Studio relationships are very important to us, but we’re always balancing that with what’s best for our business, and ultimately what’s best for the consumer,” Smith said.

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