Blockbuster's 28-day exclusive on Warner Bros. movies can be dodged

view video online even during 28-day blackoutDo you remember that 28-day waiting period on renting new Warner Bros. movies that Netflix and Redbox agreed to in February? We weren't fans of the deal then, and now Blockbuster has announced a deal with Warner Bros. to give it exclusive rental rights to Warner Bros. DVDs during that 28-day period. This deal means that consumers who want to watch films like The Blind Side on a disc will have to rent it from Blockbuster or purchase the DVD. Thankfully, even though Netflix and Redbox capitulated to the unfriendly deal, there are still several ways to rent Warner Bros. movies during the 28-day delay; you just need to do it online.

That's right, while Warner Bros. and Blockbuster have successfully frustrated Netflix and Redbox users, thrifty movie lovers can still pay less than a Blockbuster rental to watch streamed or downloaded versions of Warner Bros. titles the same day as DVD release.

While the typical new release from Blockbuster runs $5 for 5 days, you can get the on-demand or digital version for the about the same price without the hassle of leaving home. Here are some sites where you can rent Warner Bros. movies in the first 28 days. Pricing examples are for The Bind Side and may vary by region.

  • Amazon: $3.99 for 48 hours; Blu-Ray+ on-demand for $22.99
  • iTunes: $3.99
  • Time Warner On Demand: $4.95
  • Xbox Live: $6 (More expensive than Blockbuster in store)
  • Comcast on Demand: $6.99
  • AT&T Uverse: $6.95
Sure, Blockbuster fans will be happy for the early access to Warner Bros. movies, but the overall Blockbuster experience has been downgraded so much in the past few years that this partnership will frustrate more consumers than it satisfies. Personally, I dropped the service after my in-store returns were limited and my local store closed up. I haven't looked back. I certainly don't plan on going 25 miles out of my way to rent a Warner Bros. movie; instead, I'll watch it digitally.

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