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15 – 20 Years
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Corporate and Franchise
Blockbuster LLC, also known as Blockbuster and formerly Blockbuster
Video Entertainment, Inc., was
an American-based provider of home movie and video game rental services through video rental
shops, DVD-by-mail, streaming, video on demand,
and cinema theater. At
its peak in 2004, Blockbuster consisted of nearly 60,000 employees and over 9,000 stores.
competition from Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster
lost significant revenue and filed for bankruptcy protection on September 23, 2010. On
April 6, 2011, the company and its remaining 1,700 stores were bought by satellite television
Network at auction for $233 million and the assumption of $87 million in liabilities and other
acquisition was completed on April 26, 2011. Dish
closed 200 branches in July 2011, 500
more in the first half of 2012, and
another 300 in 2013. In
November 2013, it was announced that the remaining 300 company-owned stores would close (though 50
franchise-owned stores would remain open). The company's DVD-by-mail rental ceased operations as
Blockbuster brand has mostly been retired, Dish will continue to license the brand name to franchise locations,
and keep its "Blockbuster on Demand" video streaming service open along with a "Blockbuster@Home" television
package for Dish subscribers. In 2015, "Blockbuster@Home" was renamed "Dish Movie Pack."[15
The first Blockbuster store opened October 1985
inDallas, Texasat the corner of Skillman and Northwest Highway. The founder of
the company was David Cook, who grew the business and brought it public. The innovation was derived from
Cook's experience with managing huge databases. After the first few stores opened, he built a $6 million
warehouse inGarland, TX, that could pull and package multiple
stores in a day. Key to the early success of Blockbuster, was their ability to customize a store to its
neighborhood, loading it up with films geared specifically to demographic profiles in addition to the popular
new releases, and a sizeable collection of catalog titles. The logo was
created by Lee Dean, working for the now defunct Rominger Advertising agency.
In 1987, the company won a court case
America, Inc, which paved the way for the rental of videogames.
Scott Beck, a young businessman in Dallas, approached John
Melk, prior executive withWaste Management, about buying a franchise. Melk brought the idea to his friend and
Huizenga, who agreed to buy the
company after overcoming initial concerns about the video industry.
Huizenga and Melk used similar techniques in growing Waste
Management, and soon, they were opening one store every seventeen hours. They also bought every
Blockbuster franchise they could get their hands on (removing pornographic movies). The company became a
multi-billion dollar company and was sold toViacomfor a
price of $8.4 billion.
The Blockbuster Block Party concept was test-marketed
MexicoandIndianapolis, Indiana; Block Party was an "entertainment complex" aimed at adults, containing
eight themed areas housing a restaurant, games, laser tag arena and motion simulator rides and was housed in a
windowless building the size of a city block. During the 1990s Blockbuster bought out their major UK rival Ritz
Video and changed the name of all the stores to their own, which made them the number one video rental store in
the country by a wide margin.
In 1992, Blockbuster acquired the Sound Warehouse and Music
Plus music retail chains and created Blockbuster Music. In August 1998, Viacom sold the Blockbuster Music chain to
Wherehouse Entertainment, who was subsequently purchased byTrans World Entertainmentin 2003.
In 1994, Blockbuster acquired a stake
inSpelling Entertainment Group, a media company run by television producerAaron Spelling. Viacom increased its stake in Spelling over the years, finally taking
full ownership in 2000.
In 1996, Blockbuster bought the
Irish video rental store xtra vision, with over 200 stores in Ireland and the UK. In 2009, Blockbuster sold off
their Irish operations to Birchall Investments, with the few xtra vision stores in the UK being rebranded as
Blockbuster Properties For Sale Across the