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Warner Bros. Keeps Latest Films from Dish's Blockbuster Amid Window Dispute

Kevin Spacey
John P. Johnson/New Line Productions Inc

Blockbuster has bought DVDs of "Horrible Bosses" and "Green Lantern" on the open market as Warner is looking to expand 28-day release windows in place with such companies as Netflix and Redbox.

NEW YORK - Time Warner's Warner Bros. has stopped providing DVDs of its latest releases, such as Horrible Bosses and The Green Lantern, to Dish Network's Blockbuster video rental arm after the latter refused to agree to a 28-day delay between the on-sale date and discs' rental availability, the Financial Times reported.

Amid a consumer shift to rentals, Warner Bros. is looking to stimulate DVD sales. The studio is also looking to expand 28-day release windows that are already in place with such other film rental providers as Netflix and Redbox, the FT said.

Meanwhile, Blockbuster has bought DVDs of Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern on the open market to have the titles in stock for rental customers.

“They felt it was important to continue to offer day-and-date rental so rather than work with us they went around us,” Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, told the FT. Blockbuster declined to comment.

“The question is: how do we make ownership more valuable and attractive?” said Tsujihara. “We have started the process of creating a window in bricks-and-mortar DVD and Blu-ray rental.”

Asked about the 28-day rental delay for other industry players, Tsujihara said: “The Netflix and Redbox deals are going to be expiring at the end of the year and beginning of next year, and it’s likely we will try to extend those windows."

Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern are also the first titles released by Warner Bros. through the new UltraViolet service, which lets consumers store films they own in a digital locker and access them on various devices.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai