Redbox, Netflix Go to Stores to Buy ‘John Carter’ DVDs

Coinstar Inc. (CSTR)’s Redbox and Netflix Inc. (NFLX) will buy DVDs of Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s “John Carter” from stores rather than wait 28 days to get them from the studio.

“John Carter,” a $250 million science-fiction epic that flopped with cinema audiences, is the first major Disney release to be withheld from DVD rental services until four weeks after it goes on sale in stores, a Disney spokeswoman said by telephone.

Disney is joining News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox, Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s Universal Pictures in imposing the waiting period on all releases. Studios use the four weeks to promote sales of disks and video-on-demand transactions, which offer a higher profit margin than Redbox’s $1.20-a-night rental and Netflix’s monthly subscription fee.

Disney started its 28-day policy with “The Secret World of Arrietty,” an animated film released as a DVD on May 22. In U.S. and Canadian theaters, the movie earned $19.2 million, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. Redbox didn’t stock “Arrietty” in its kiosks, spokeswoman Marci Maule said in an e-mail. Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Viacom Inc. (VIAB)’s Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF) and Sony Corp. (6758) continue to sell disks to rental services without restriction.

“John Carter” generated $282.4 million in worldwide ticket sales, including $72.7 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo.

Coinstar fell 2.9 percent to $61.01 in New York. Netflix dropped 1.9 percent to $64.64.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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