What Happened to Former Movie-Rental Giant Blockbuster Stock?

Blockbuster Video used to be a leading movie rental store. However, the company didn't adapt over time and filed for bankruptcy in 2010. What happened to the stock?

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Jan. 27 2021, Updated 10:55 a.m. ET

Blockbuster Video Store
Source: Getty Images

Once the king of video-rental stores, Blockbuster Video had nearly 9,000 store locations across the globe at its peak. However, with the arrival of Netflix and its video-delivery service which morphed into streaming services, Blockbuster suffered massive losses in the early 2000s. The company closed most of its stores by 2010 and filed for bankruptcy.  

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Blockbuster stock dropped in value and was delisted from the NYSE. Now, the stock is available on the OTC market as a cheap penny stock. By the spring of 2020, the chain had dwindled down to just one remaining brick-and-mortar store. The final store was located in Bend, Ore.  

blockbuster video stock
Source: Blockbuster Facebook
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How Blockbuster stock declined

Blockbuster was founded in 1985 in Dallas by David Cook. At the time, the company was a pioneer in the home-entertainment industry. The company was able to stock thousands of movie titles compared to local stores with limited selections. Blockbuster soared to the top of U.S. movie chains within three years.  

Blockbuster started losing revenue as Netflix grew in popularity in the early 2000s. The company had several opportunities to adapt and grow when consumers' video content needs started to change. Blockbuster was acquired by Viacom in 1994 for $8 billion and continued to focus on brick-and-mortar stores. The company lost half its value in two years.   

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Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010. In 2011, the company sold its remaining 1,700 stores to Dish Network. The last company-owned stores closed in 2014, which left only a handful of privately-owned franchises open.  

How to buy Blockbuster stock

Technically, you can still buy Blockbuster stock, but it's an extremely low penny stock. The price on Jan. 26 was $0.0498 at the close — up from its previous closing price of $0.0057. As of 9:34 a.m. ET on Jan. 27, the price was only up to $0.12 per share.  

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Blockbuster's highest stock price

Blockbuster traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "BBI" from 1999 to 2010 and reached the peak of its success in the mid-2000s. The company traded close to $10 per share and reached a high of $10.65 on April 14, 2005. 

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blockbuster highest stock price
Source: istock
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Former Blockbuster CEO John Antioco turned down an offer to buy Netflix for $50 million in 2000 citing doubt in the “dot-com hysteria.” The refusal or delay to adapt to mainly online content destroyed Blockbuster.  

In 2010, Blockbuster faced delisting from the NYSE due to 30 consecutive days of trading at below $1 per share. Despite executives’ efforts, it had dropped to $0.18 per share by July 2010. At that same point, Netflix was thriving at $107 per share. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010.  

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Blockbuster stock isn't worth much in 2021

Blockbuster stock is worth very little in 2021. Competitors like Netflix and Amazon have adapted and created the instant video-streaming content platforms that consumers love.  

Considering that Blockbuster only had one remaining store in the spring of 2020, the company's prospects don’t look good. The final Bend, Ore. location opened up to local residents for three nights of Airbnb rentals in September 2020.  


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