Just last night, on the way home from coffee, we passed a Blockbuster Video that had been gutted of its contents. It was eerily barren for a downtown location.
“Well, shit,” I remarked. “Wasn’t this open like, last week?”
Speak of the devil.
In a press release, Blockbuster has just announced a “pre-arranged” Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, in order to “substantially reduce its indebtedness” from $1 billion-ish to approximately $100 million.
Said CEO Jim Keyes of the move: “After a careful and thorough analysis, we determined that the process announced today provides the optimal path for recapitalizing our balance sheet and positioning Blockbuster for the future as we continue to transform our business model.”
Transform it into another Netflix, hopefully. Blockbuster already has an online service, but is nowhere near Netflix, which has grown from 1 million to 15 million users in the past eight years. People just aren’t down with paying eight bucks + gas to drive down to get a DVD, it seems.
3000 of Blockbuster’s stores will stay open as the company reorganizes, but the future’s looking pretty bleak for the once-proud movie behemoth.
But I guess there’s a silver lining, here – with the fall of Blockbuster, so too will fall the image of the lonely single man, standing meekly in line at the video store at 11pm on a Saturday night, waiting to go home, reheat his Zoodles, and watch the latest… I dunno, Wesley Snipes flick, or something.