BlockbusterI don’t mean to be a complete dick to all the unfortunate folks working for Blockbuster, but if you’ve not sought other employment as the writing has been put on the wall in great big neon exploding Ben-Hur letters over the last few years… probably ought to start.

You’ll remember that blockbuster was scooped out of Bankruptcy by Dish Network for some fucking reason back in 2011, with the new owners ruthlessly closing stores or letting impending leases go un-renewed. The effects were obvious here in Atlanta, for example, where quite suddenly every Blockbuster location within the city perimeter was quite suddenly closed, and I bought a Scott Pilgrim blu-ray with no case for $2.00.

What was hilarious were the “We’re Moving!’ signs featuring the image of a moving truck, but if you asked to where they were moving they’d just point to a sign.

In any event, there are apparently nearly 850 stores still left open in the states, and Dish is letting another 300 of them die out by letting their leases lapse, or by closing them outright for poor performance. In other bad news, Blockbuster UK has has filed for what amounts to bankruptcy across the pond.

blockbusterThere is nothing, nor has there ever been anything of its business model left to salvage from Blockbuster, and many of Dish’s original plans for the brand were quite wild. With no expectations of salvaging the brick-and-mortar stores, the buy amounted to a quarter of a billion dollar acquisition of a logo to slap on some new digital venture, but none of these Dish schemes worked out. Through last year there was the hope to use Dish spectrum for wireless data and to sell mobile devices for streaming Blockbuster movies in the stores, but the proper government approval didn’t come through, killing the venture that might have done something with the physical locations. As for any other kind of Netflix clone (plans for which have already been scrapped) the blue-and-yellow torn ticket is damaged goods. Blockbuster doesn’t mean “movies” anymore. That’s been supplanted by Netflix and iTunes and Amazon and YouTube and on and on and on without ever mentioning “Blockbuster” ever again.

Always remember: $50m. A mere $50m was the price Blockbuster could have paid for Netflix back in its startup days, shortly Blockbuster’s own IPO made it flush with billions in cash…


Source | Deadline