Blockbuster is slashing rental prices as the company prepares to shutter 146 bankrupt Canadian stores.
As of this weekend, thousands of movies can be rented for 99 cents a day, and customers can also rent new releases for $2.99 for one day, with each additional day costing 99 cents. Previously, renters were stuck paying $4.99 for a three-day rental.
"Our customers are seeking a better value. We've answered with new pricing and the flexibility of single day rentals," said Michael Kelly, president of Blockbuster. "Our new pricing gives our customers the best of both worlds: access to the latest releases –- many 28 days before Netflix and Redbox -- and the most movies at low prices."
The good news for Blockbuster customers comes as the retailer announced it would close 146 Canadian stores, mostly in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
"The purpose of the store consolidation is to provide Blockbuster Canada Co. with the opportunity to streamline its operations to better position the business for sale," Michael Creber, a Grant Thornton spokesman, said in a statement. "While the need to consolidate stores is unfortunate, we are pleased with the level of interest in Blockbuster Canada Co.'s operations expressed by potential purchasers to date."
Dish Network bought Blockbuster Inc. in a bankruptcy auction for $320 million earlier this year.
The move was viewed as an effort by Dish Network to compete directly with Netflix for customers eager to stream video online.
Blockbuster declared bankruptcy in September, and much of the money from the sale to Dish Network will help payoff creditors of the heavily indebted company.
Monika Bartyzel predicted the demise of Blockbuster back in July of 2010 when she described the once dominant chain as a "movie ghost town."
Written by Simon McCormack