Fans Speculate Whether Blockbuster Can Make a Comeback
Is Blockbuster coming back? The defunct video-rental giant has been closed for a decade. The Blockbuster website is back online. Let's investigate.
Blockbuster has become something of a cautionary tale for business owners: don't be afraid to adapt to new technologies or you'll risk being left in the dust. The video rental store was once the main place to get a cinema experience at home, but most locations closed before 2013. Is Blockbuster coming back?
Since the rise of Netflix — first with its movie delivery service, then its on-demand streaming service — Blockbuster's brick-and-mortar rental store business declined rapidly. One lone Blockbuster store in Bend, Oreg. remains open today. The story of Blockbuster even made it to documentary screens with The Last Blockbuster in 2020.
Why do people think Blockbuster is coming back?
If you thought Blockbuster as a company was dead, you would be like most of the world. But some fans of the old world and the concept of going into a physical store to rent physical movies are thrilled at a new rumor. As The Hill reported, a few days ago the Blockbuster website came back online.
Given that Blockbuster has been almost entirely out of commission for nearly a decade, the sight of a website for Blockbuster brought hope to some on social media. If you Google blockbuster.com, you'll now see the familiar blue-and-gold Blockbuster logo with the message, "We are working on rewinding your movie."
The website says nothing more. There is nothing else to click and there are no further messages from the company. Whether this is a twisted joke someone is playing or Blockbuster is really looking to re-enter the entertainment industry in some way remains to be seen.
What are people saying on social media about Blockbuster? The Hill noted that in addition to the new website, Blockbuster's Twitter had been reactivated. Recent tweets have seemed somewhat humorous.
Who owns Blockbuster?
In 2011, Dish Network purchased Blockbuster and its remaining 1,700 stores in existence. Blockbuster posted this note: "DISH Network acquired the assets of BLOCKBUSTER in April 2011 through a bankruptcy auction. We recognized that the entertainment landscape was changing, and we believe that Blockbuster will continue to evolve its online delivery."
NewsNation stated that the purchase price was a reported $228 million at the time. In November 2013, Dish Network announced it would close the last remaining Blockbuster stores.
Who owns the last Blockbuster?
There's one remaining brick-and-mortar Blockbuster store in the world, located in Bend, Oreg. It's the subject of the documentary The Last Blockbuster. Manager of that store has been Sandi Harding, and the store's owner is Ken Tisher. Tisher has a license with Dish Network to use the Blockbuster trademark, allowing the store to sell Blockbuster-branded merchandise.
Do people want Blockbuster to return?
From social media, you can glean the fact that Blockbuster does, in fact, still have some fans out there. Here's what some said about a potential Blockbuster comeback:
What about the comedy series "Blockbuster"?
You may have also heard of a newer release to Netflix, the comedy series Blockbuster. Executive producer of the show Vanessa Ramos said she wanted to play on the theme of the last Blockbuster, but in a fictional setting, USA Today reports. The show stars Randall Park as the store manager.
Sandi Harding, manager of the real-life last Blockbuster, told USA Today that their store has a lot in common with the series, though they aren't officially connected. Quirky staff and physical comedy are part of a day in the work life at Blockbuster in Bend, Oreg. She said, "People are shocked that we don't have anything to do with the 'Blockbuster' show."
It seems like something is happening at Blockbuster, but so far there hasn't been any official word from the Blockbuster in Bend, Oreg. or Dish Network about a possible comeback. Time will tell whether Blockbuster returns to being such an integral part of Americans' lives.